Two volunteers from Seaton, Norah and Henry Jaggers have recently received awards for their contributions to their sailing and boating community.

The pairs volunteering efforts were recently celebrated by Her Royal Highness The Princess Royal, President of the RYA, and guests at an awards ceremony in central London.

The 2023 RYA Volunteer Awards were held on Friday 10 November at the Grade II listed ‘One Great George Street’, 81 accolades were given this year in recognition of the outstanding dedication and commitment made by volunteers of all ages and from all corners of the UK.

Norah and Henry have between them shown 65 years’ commitment to the Comet Class Association and they continue to make a significant contribution to maintaining the Association’s reputation. Their encyclopaedic knowledge of the class and its former and current members is a unique resource and their enthusiasm, help, advice, and good nature have promoted the Association as an open and welcoming organisation.

On receiving their Joint Lifetime Commitment Award they said: “The award came as a complete surprise to us both, but a very pleasant one. We feel highly gratified to be receiving it and to be so honoured by the RYA. Both of us have always enjoyed what we’ve done, for sailing in general and especially for dinghy racing, particularly our long involvement with the Comet Class. We have never looked for awards, but it is good to be appreciated.”

“Our sport relies so much on the goodwill and skills of volunteers at every level, without whom the opportunities to get involved in boating would be greatly reduced,” said RYA CEO Sara Sutcliffe MBE. “They are very often the first point of contact for new participants across the nations and regions, and can help to motivate a lifetime’s interest, or inspire others to train for fulfilling careers across the marine industry.

“It’s so humbling to hear of the many examples of selfless commitment our award recipients have shown – in many cases spanning decades – and they represent many thousands more who give their time to support boating in whatever way, great or small. Our grateful thanks go to them all.”