Royal salute for lifetime volunteer James

James Stevenson receiving his award from Princess Anne

James Stevenson receiving his award from Princess Anne - Credit: RYA

A sailing volunteer from Paignton has been presented with a prestigious national award by HRH the Princess Royal, president of the Royal Yachting Association (RYA), in recognition of his exceptional generosity and commitment to the sport at grassroots level. 

James Stevenson, who volunteers at Teign Corinthian Yacht Club, received a Lifetime Commitment award at the RYA’s annual awards held at One Great George Street, London on Friday 19 November. 

James is a retired builder who maintained Teign Corinthian Yacht Club’s increasingly elderly clubhouse for about 20 years. When a steady increase in female sailors required the provision of more changing space for them, he volunteered to design and build a new clubhouse for the cost of the materials.  

The result is that he has provided an iconic facility with changing spaces for 26 males and 26 females, a dedicated training room, office, clubhouse and a balcony looking over the finest sailing area on the River Teign.  

Through his commitment, determination, vision and enormous effort, the club has saved over £300,000 and opened a clubhouse worthy of the 21st century. 

Rob Clark, RYA Director of Sport Development said: “2021 has been another challenging year for sailing organisations with outdoor activity restarting and restrictions slowly lifting.  

“More than ever volunteers are the backbone of our clubs and the wider boating community, and every single award winner has made an impact by sacrificing their time and expertise so others can enjoy being on the water. It’s a pleasure to recognise their achievements.” 

Based in the beautiful location of Teignmouth, Teign Cornithian Yacht Club offers opportunities and experience in sailing, yachting and paddling, as well as an active dinghy section, staged at the club’s second property at Coombe Cellars on the South bank of the River Teign estuary and, because of the sheltered nature of this location, dinghy sailing takes place all year round. Visit www.tcyc.org.uk for information. 

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The RYA is boating’s national governing body and the Volunteer Awards recognise the outstanding contribution made by volunteers throughout the UK.  Not only rewarding the longest-standing volunteers but also families, committed youngsters and most importantly, those that have had an impact.