Farnham Sports Council Awards 15th October 2012
It was a great night for Frensham Pond Sailing Club and Frensham Pond Sailability as its nominees were awarded with a prize at the Farnham Sports Council Awards.
The Farnham Sports Council is an independent, voluntary body which represents the sporting interests of the people of Farnham and the surrounding districts. The FSC acts to promote sport in the community at all levels, to safeguard existing facilities, to identify sporting needs in the area and provides a forum where clubs and individuals can present their views on sporting matters to local authorities and other interested organisations.
Nick Clibborn won the category of Coach of the Year.
Nick has been a keen sailor and dinghy racer for many years and has travelled widely during a distinguished career in the Merchant Navy and the City before his retirement. He has been a valued member of FPSC for many years.
A knowledgeable and respected RYA qualified instructor, Nick has been involved in introducing people of all ages and abilities to sailing and his natural enthusiasm has encouraged many to join the sailing club and take up the sport. As a Senior Instructor and Racing Coach, he has played a very active part in teaching 1 week courses at Frensham Pond as an unpaid volunteer. These involve children from the age of seven up to adults of all ages.
From 2009 to 2012 Nick was the Principal of the RYA Recognised Training Establishment at Frensham Pond, again a voluntary post, and was instrumental in managing all the training courses for novice and more experienced sailors. He continues to help as a Senior Instructor for training courses and to train a new generation of instructors and racing coaches.
Nick has also been the Racing Coach for Frensham Pond Sailability for the past 8 years, spending many long hours in the classroom and on the water, in all weathers, encouraging and supporting disabled sailors to take up racing. Starting at the club level, many have gone on to compete in National and International events with great success.
His efforts have resulted in the Access Class sailors of FPS winning countless prizes and trophies, including two current National Championships, a French National Championship and FPS are the holders of the UK's "Ben Ainslie" Access Team Trophy for a record fifth consecutive year.
Nick's passion for sailing, together with his thorough knowledge of the subject and his lively and entertaining coaching style, continue to inspire and enthuse everybody who has had the privilege of being instructed by him.
Lindsay Burns was second in the Disability Award.
After being involved with Frensham Pond Sailing Club in its early days, Lindsay Burns suffered a severe road accident in the 1970s which left her very disabled and curtailed her sailing activities for some 30 years. When she discovered Frensham Pond Sailability in 2009 she returned to the sport and promptly became a champion sailor winning the National Championship for her Access 2.3 class dinghy for the past three years and also the equivalent French Championship in 2011 and 2012.
Lindsay has also taken to travelling to other UK clubs to participate in "Travellers' Trophy" competitions, becoming a key member of the Frensham Pond Sailability multiple trophy winning team. In addition, Lindsay has travelled to World and European championships winning a European Silver medal in Italy in 2011 and being a member of the UK team which won the top nation trophy.
As well as her personal successes, Lindsay has been passing on her skills to a new generation, achieving RYA Dinghy Instructor and Race Coach qualifications alongside able-bodied sailors, and then using this knowledge to teach sailing skills to disabled youngsters at Frensham Pond and being appointed national coach for the Access classes of boats for disabled sailors. All this is done on a voluntary basis in her own time.
Richard Smallwood was third in the category Service to Sport
Richard had a long career in the Royal Navy. However, he has always found time to enjoy sailing as well as contributing to the running of a number of different sailing clubs and organisations, most recently Frensham Pond Sailability, whilst achieving appropriate RYA qualifications along the way.
Richard first became involved with Frensham Pond Sailability in 2002. Although initially joining us as a sailing volunteer his extensive sailing CV and leadership skills were recognised and he took on the role of Sailing Captain when a vacancy arose. With his sailing knowledge and organisational skills Richard helped to develop the management of sailing sessions, paying particular attention to safety and training matters. He also made proposals for improvements to the Sailability fleet and took charge of procuring suitable additional boats.
As an RYA Racing Coach Richard frequently supports our racing members at meetings throughout the country and accompanies them to overseas events, sometimes towing boats when required.
In addition to his role at Frensham Pond Sailability Richard was Chairman of The Access Class Association (UK) for four years and continues today as vice chairman and a member of the international committee. The Access Class was designed for disabled sailor to enable those with disability to sail and compete against abled bodied sailors. In his role as chairman he was instrumental in raising the Association’s profile both nationally and internationally, providing technical input and advice for the development of this class. In this role he also chaired the committee which organised the Access and Skud 18 World Championships at Rutland Water in 2010.