Birmingham sailor recognised by The Princess Royal

RYA Outstanding Contribution Award winner Ann Kelly with Her Royal Highness The Princess Royal

RYA Outstanding Contribution Award winner Ann Kelly with Her Royal Highness The Princess Royal

Birmingham sailor Ann Kelly has been recognised for the dedication she has shown in teaching young people how to sail.

Ann was among three Midland sailors had their volunteer endeavours recognised by Her Royal Highness The Princess Royal at the annual Royal Yachting Association (RYA) Volunteer Awards in London on November 20.

She received an RYA Outstanding Contribution Award, for individuals who have made a significant volunteer contribution to their club or organisation.

Born and raised in south Birmingham, Ann has been responsible for delivering Bartley Sailing Club’s thriving youth training programme – ‘K2O’.

The scheme regularly has 30 sailors aged from 8-17 sailing each Saturday morning and continues to give many children the opportunity to try sailing.

Ann actively encourages people of all ages into sailing, regularly taking new members out on the water, while as a senior instructor she also helps deliver courses to adults.

Other sailors recognised at the awards included Mike Colles (Midland Sailing Club) and Steve Perring (Earlswood Lake Sailing Club), who were honoured with RYA Lifetime Commitment awards.

A total of 53 awards were bestowed upon volunteers from across the UK, recognising their exceptional generosity and dedication to boating, by sailing’s national governing body.

The awards ceremony and luncheon was held at One Great George Street, where each award winner was presented with a commemorative medallion and certificate.

The Midland trio were both nominated for their awards by the clubs and organisations they work with and selected as winners by the RYA Awards panel.

Duncan Truswell, RYA sport development manager, said: “The RYA Volunteer Awards are our opportunity to say thank you on behalf of clubs and associations that affiliate to the RYA, to their volunteers, the people that really make a difference to help people get afloat.

“It’s our opportunity to take a bit of time out to appreciate the commitment these individuals make to the sport in helping people get afloat safely and enjoyably.”