Revamped sailing club in Snettisham welcomes royal visitor
The refurbishment works at Snettisham Beach Sailing Club got a royal seal of approval last week when they were formally opened.
Princess Anne visited and spoke with those who use the facility on Friday, before she unveiled a plaque.
In her position as president of the Royal Yachting Association, Princess Anne was a welcome visitor to the club – which has recently completed a revamp with help from a grant from Sport England and the National Lottery Fund.
Commodore Adrian Tebbutt said: “The fact we have got Princess Anne here validates all the effort put in by the club and its members, and it validates the impact of the club.”
Since the improvement work, Snettisham Beach Sailing Club, which has about 600 members made up of 350 adults and 250 children, now has better changing rooms, a teaching room and additional catering facilities.
Mr Tebbutt said the sailing facility was unique, as it has both a lake and the sea for members to use – at equal distance from the sailing club.
“We are bucking the national trend in terms of growing membership and participation,” he added.
On Friday, the Princess Royal was introduced to students from Lynn’s Churchill Park Complex Needs School, who were sailing on the lake, and a number of club members and local dignitaries.
Among them was borough mayor Carol Bower who commended those who work at the club.
She said: “This is run by volunteers and today is a great example of the success of the club, which is down to the number of volunteers.
“They have actually developed this so they train their own instructors – so they run the club on a self sustaining basis.”
Following this, the Princess Anne unveiled a plaque and officially opened the club.
She said: “I would like to congratulate you on what you have achieved here. It’s really nice to be able to come and see something which is local, but equally the way in which this club has grown and how you have used your facility is a tribute to all of those who have been involved over the years, and to have the vision to see where else you can go.
“And it is a very good example to others who may think they don’t have ideal facilities or an ideal area but you really have built on what is available here and got the best possible use of it.
“I hope that lots of people enjoy using this addition which will allow you to get to your second stage of development and I wish you well with that.”
During the course of the day, Princess Royal was presented with a bouquet of flowers by one of the club’s youngest members Sofia Eaton and was gifted a club fleece.
Mr Tebbutt said the next phase of developing the club is planned in due course, to extend the female changing facilities and to add disabled provision there too.
He asked anyone who would be willing to donate their time, labour or money to the cause to contact the club.
The club is due to hold an open day there on Saturday from 2pm until about 6pm – which is suitable for people aged eight and upwards – and it will be an opportunity for visitors to try out the facilities with instructors.
Mr Tebbutt added: “If you want to learn to sail there is really no better place to come. It’s one of Norfolk’s hidden gems.”