A SHIRLEY sailor is in line to receive one of the Royal Yachting Association’s (RYA) most prestigious awards.
Steve Perring will be presented with an RYA Lifetime Commitment award by HRH the Princess Royal for his dedication to Earlwoods Lakes Sailing Club at the upcoming RYA Volunteer Awards.
The 70-year-old has been a stalwart of the club for over 20 years – playing a key role in its development and holding numerous positions on the club’s committees – and spends his free time helping sailors of all levels learn the ropes of sailing.
Steve has also provided vital support to the Worcestershire Schools Sailing and Canoeing Association (WSSCA) for more than 15 years.
Humbled by the award, Steve said: “It is very satisfying to be honoured but slightly embarrassing because I am conscious of many others equally if not more deserving than myself.
“The biggest thing sailing has taught me is self-confidence and I get a huge amount of enjoyment helping new sailors, in particular young ones, to learn to sail and develop their skills.”
Steve first learned to sail after his father bought a Burnham 12 dinghy in 1960.
Initially meant to allow the family to go fishing, Steve and his brother were so passionate about wanting to sail it that they asked a young local to teach them in Aberdaron Bay on the Llyn Peninsula in North Wales.
Still a competitive sailor and regular feature on the Midlands Laser Grand Prix circuit, Steve added: “Sailing is such a great sport to get into because of the combination of mental and physical skills required to sail well.
“Age is no barrier either; we have a 92-year-old in our club who is still very competitive except in heavy winds.”
Steve was nominated for his award by the Earlswood Lakes Sailing Club and selected as a winner by sailing’s national governing body, the RYA.
The Lifetime Commitment award recognises individuals who have shown exceptional commitment and dedication to their club or organisation for at least 15 years.
Duncan Truswell, RYA Sport Development Manager, added: “The RYA Volunteer Awards are all about celebrating the commitment of the countless volunteers who do fantastic work to support boating in all its forms.
“These people are the lifeblood of our sport; they keep our sailing clubs, events and our organisations thriving and make it possible for others to get out on the water.”
For more information about the RYA Volunteer Awards visit www.rya.org.uk/go/RYAVolunteerAwards