Martin Appleby, who volunteers at Girton Sailing Club, earns Lifetime Commitment Award from the Royal Yachting Association
A sailing club volunteer has been recognised for his dedication to the sport with a Lifetime Commitment Award from the Royal Yachting Association.
Seventy-year-old Martin Appleby, who volunteers at Girton Sailing Club, was named among 44 unsung heroes from across the UK in the RYA Volunteer Awards 2020.
The awards are held annually to thank those who have made an outstanding contribution to boating.
Girton Sailing Club nominated Appleby, from Newark, with a touching message.
They said: “Martin has been a member for over 25 years and his input has significantly boosted the club’s activities and inclusivity during this time.
“In addition, he puts time and effort into the maintenance and renewal of the equipment and improving facilities, saving the club significant sums of money.
“A real team player, Martin has used his knowledge and expertise to bring members together to work for the common good.
“He has rebuilt the social offering of the club, both on and off the water, making it an excellent environment for everyone and ensuring that all family members can get involved.”
Appleby served on the club’s committee and as Commodore from 2014-18 and was one of the driving forces behind the club being able to purchase the lake from its landlord.
He also qualified as an RYA senior instructor to support training, including for Scouts and for the club’s Sailability group for disabled sailors, which he runs.
The retired hospital engineer (pictured right) also spends time with his son and grandchildren at the club.
He said it was a surprise to win the award.
“Receiving the award was a real surprise because I just enjoy what I do and also the company at the club, where many people volunteer their time and we all meet up and do things together,” he said.
“I first joined the club with my children because I always wanted to learn to sail and they made me very welcome.
“It is a nice family club and I wanted to give something back and as I had been involved with training young people and people with difficulties over many years through the Scouts and the Duke of Edinburgh Award.”
Sarah Treseder, RYA chief executive, said: “This year, more than ever before, we have seen our club volunteers come together and work tirelessly to ensure members can continue to sail.
“The generosity and dedication of each of the RYA Volunteer Award recipients is simply outstanding and it’s a pleasure to be able to recognise these winners through this award.”
There is usually an awards ceremony in London but this year, due to the ongoing pandemic, the awards have been presented to volunteers at their local sailing clubs or online.