On 21 March 2020 Jack Roy’s term of office as President of Irish Sailing came to an end. His final speech was due at the Awards, but instead we announced all the winners online. So here is a brief synopsis of what Jack would have included, as well as a link to the Annual Report in which he outlines 2019 goals and impact.
“It has been my honour and privilege to be President for the last three years during which I have really enjoyed travelling around the country meeting so many sailors and of course the volunteers who make our sport possible and encouraging my key message of “let’s have ‘FUN’” in our sport.
At the start of my presidency my hope was for Irish Sailing to be more relevant to members. I had five priorities and I have covered the progress of these in my blogs over the years, particularly in my last version at the end of 2019.
Converting “Try Sailors” to Members of clubs. This campaign has been critical in encouraging more people to try our sport. Over 12,000 people have done just that, tried sailing. Membership of Irish Sailing has grown by 10% to over 20,000 we believe this program has played a significant part in this.
Club Coach Programme aimed at providing certified coaches for entry level programmes at club and inter-club level is now underway with two courses. Next year sees a further roll-out of the programme with at least one course per region.
A major issue was keeping third level students in sailing. Through new initiatives for Team Racing we have invested in a new programme including a new fleet of Firefly Dinghies to drive this development at club level throughout the country. The early interest from clubs is most encouraging.
More involvement of women in sailing. The first Irish Sailing Pathfinder Women at the Helm regatta was a big success last year. Over 200 people took part with all the helms being women. Sport Ireland have endorsed this success by funding our new “Take the Helm” campaign in 2020 as part of their Women in Sport Strategy.
We now know the Olympic Games have been postponed to 2021. Our High Performance athletes will now re-adjust their schedules and training for qualification events yet to be decided later this year or early in 2021. I wish them all well in this now extended campaign.
Irish Sailing could not operate without the dedicated staff both in Park Road and our development officers around the country, to them I owe a huge thank you for their support and hard work over my time as President.
I would like to take this opportunity to wish my successor David O’ Brien, of the Royal Cork Yacht Club, the best of luck at the start of his tenure as President. David has been instrumental in the development of the new Strategic Plan that will be launched shortly and is an excellent road map for the next 5 years. I would like to assure David and Irish Sailing of my continued support in any way in the future."