More than 1,200 RYA instructors, appointment holders and training centre principals joined the first virtual RYA Raymarine Training Conference supported by Gallagher this weekend (30-31 January 2021).
The new and innovative virtual format made the event more accessible than ever before, attracting delegates from 40 different countries.
Each year, the training conferences are packed with all the latest information and updates from the RYA and the wider industry, as well as engaging workshops and plenty of opportunities to network. Despite the new virtual format, this year was no different.
RYA Chief Executive, Sarah Treseder started the conference with a message of support and gratitude: “After what has been a tough year in so many ways, I want to thank every single one of you for everything you’ve done over the last 12 months.
“All of the innovation, the dedication and the resilience you’ve shown in continuing to support training candidates and to make boating safer and more rewarding for everyone – thank you most sincerely.”
The exciting programme of speakers and sessions covered everything from delivering virtual training and investigating accidents, to equality, diversity and safeguarding, and ways to look after your mental health.
Guest speaker, Liz Rushall, shared an insight to the British Marine Futures Project and delivered a thought-provoking live talk on the impact of current consumer and participation trends, as well as challenges and future opportunities for RYA training centres.
Sustainability and the impact of RYA training was a hot topic throughout the virtual event, with sessions on ‘going paperless’ and an introduction to the RYA’s Sustainability Strategy. Dr Ivan Haigh from the University of Southampton also delivered an informative presentation on rising tides.
The ongoing impact of the coronavirus pandemic and Brexit challenges were also key topics, with a dedicated update, Q&A session and overview of the support and guidance available from the RYA with Howard Pridding, Director of External Affairs.
Richard Falk, RYA Director of Training and Qualifications commented: “The past year has been incredibly challenging for the industry and all of our centres and instructors have felt the impact of the pandemic.
“Looking forward, our focus is very much to survive, rebuild and thrive, and we will continue to do everything we can to support the RYA training network.
“I’d like to thank everyone who joined us this weekend. Despite current challenges, the atmosphere has been really positive and early feedback suggests the conference was enjoyed by instructors and principals all over the world.