The Royal Yachting Association (RYA) Annual National Award Ceremony was held last Friday in London to honour those who have made significant contributions to boating and sailing by giving their time and effort to their clubs.
The presentation, by HRH The Princess Royal, Princess Anne, president of the RYA, of medals and certificates to 50 RYA and sailing club members, included two members of Snettisham Beach Sailing Club (SBSC).
SBSC was the only club in the country to have two nominated members selected to receive awards.
Vice commodore, Mr Guy Playford received an RYA Community Award (Lifetime Achievement) for consistent service and volunteering over more than 15 years.
For over 25 years Playford has volunteered for, or been elected to, many positions within the club. Throughout this time he has committed himself wholeheartedly, reasoning that it is good to be able to “give something back”.
Currently he manages the clubhouse and grounds and has responsibility for the employed staff, and all aspects of the clubhouse facilities.
As with many organisations, it’s not always possible to find volunteers when they are needed but this doesn’t faze Playford – he just does the jobs himself.
He’s hands on in every aspect, to the extent that he can be found rodding the drains, sanding the clubhouse floor or doing any other job that will enhance the club and keep it running like clockwork.
Playford is a successful businessman with a hectic life running his own carpet sales company and helping his wife to look after their teenage family. In order to integrate his many club activities with his family and work commitments Playford can often be found at the club just after dawn preparing for an expected delivery or checking the stock inventory for an order before going to work!
Recently the club has acquired additional land from its neighbours the RSPB; Playford was the principal negotiator, instructing and communicating with solicitors until completion.
His unstinting effort has guaranteed the future of the club’s operating space and provided room for expansion within its freehold property.
Without Playford’s actions over the majority of the last 25 years SBSC would not run as smoothly as it does and certainly would not be in the position that it enjoys today.
Acting rear commodore, Peter Hutchinson, received the RYA Community Award (Outstanding Contribution) for those who have gone beyond the norm in their commitment to service and volunteering for the club.
Hutchinson first began sailing at SBSC in a Fireball 39 years ago, before leaving the area to work across the UK and overseas. Since re-joining the club six years ago he has been a key driving force behind the implementation of the club’s development plans. Initially, he focussed on improving the quality of racing, before taking on greater responsibilities as acting rear commodore and part-time bosun. Hutchinson has also worked tirelessly organising club working parties, recovering and relaying buoys, scheduling safety boat maintenance and overseeing the complete refurbishment of the club committee boat.
More recently, he led the club’s successful application for Sport England Inspired Facilities Grant funding, maintaining close contact with Sport England throughout as well as communicating and working closely with other agencies including the Environment Agency and Local Planning authorities. The £75,000 grant will be used to enlarge the clubhouse and improve the facilities.
Hutchinson has become a mainstay of the club, always leading by example to establish volunteering as a key element of club activities. He has given selflessly of his time and has made an outstanding contribution to the development of the club.