A YACHT club is celebrating after scooping a top award and a £10,000 cash windfall.
Tees and Hartlepool Yacht Club won the RYA (Royal Yachting Association) North East Club Initiative of the Year Award, and also received a grant of nearly £10,000 from Sport England to build a pontoon with disabled acess.
The award and grant were presented to the club by the ceremonial Mayor of Hartlepool, Councillor Stephen Akers-Belcher, and were received by the yacht club’s President Tommy Richardson and Commodore Barry Hughes.
“On behalf of the Club, I am very grateful to Hartlepool Borough Council, Sport England and the RYA for all their support over the past couple of years,” said Mr Hughes.
“At the club we are committed to our goal of bringing sailing and boating opportunities to a wider audience.”
He added: “I would like to thank the club members for their hard work, support and co-operation.
“It is fantastic to know that our application to Sport England for a grant to build a new pontoon has been approved.
“This pontoon is vital and will hugely improve the disabled access to our boats.”
It was the club’s work with the council that brought it to the attention of the RYA North East Committee and led ultimately to the award.
Steve Gibbon, chairman of the RYA North East Region, said: “We had several strong entries for our Club Initiative of the Year Award 2013, but the entry from Tees and Hartlepool Yacht Club was outstanding.
“Volunteering is recognised by the RYA as one of the pivotal aspects of our sport and provides a foundation upon which we can build a successful sailing nation.
“That starts with clubs like Tees and Hartlepool.
“Without the time and dedication of volunteers, success such as the club has achieved, would not be possible.”
For further information about the Tees and Hartlepool Yacht Club visit www.thyc.org.uk