The Future of Boating on the Medway and Swale

Medway/Swale Boating Conference, Chatham, Saturday 9 March 2019

Will your club exist in ten years’ time? Our 2019 conference will focus on the future of our local clubs, which still form the core of active boating on the Medway and Swale. A major report carried out for the British marine industry highlighted a decline in participation in most but not all watersports. Sailing in particular is in free fall. So what exactly is going wrong and what are we going to do about it? Our first key speaker will be Liz Rushall, a keen sailor and the author of the Futures report, which was commissioned by British Marine and based on data provided by the RYA and British Canoeing. Liz set up the RYA’s Participation and Membership committee, which focuses on growing sailing and watersports. She is passionate about the future of the sport and will share ideas that can help keep our clubs active and growing. Also starring at the conference will be Dave Selby, known for his hilarious column in Practical Boat Owner. Like many of us at the grass roots of boating, Dave prefers to think of sailing as a pastime rather than a “sport,” and it doesn’t have to be expensive! Dave describes himself as a passionate but useless sailor who’s been fumbling around the east coast for years in Marlin, his 18-ft Sailfish, without dying once. Other speakers will present ways in which their clubs have been able to adapt to ageing membership and changing styles of boating. During refreshment breaks you will be able to talk to the speakers and exhibitors from the MSBA’s partner organisations and local marine businesses. The venue will again be the splendid St George’s Centre at Chatham, which can accommodate up to 200 (plus an exhibition) in surroundings redolent of our maritime history. An impressive set of exhibitors will complement the speakers. stGeorgesCentre Once again we are grateful to Medway Council for use of the superb venue and to British Marine for sponsoring the name badges. Please download this flyer for display on your club/organisation’s notice board. Tickets Cost £25 including lunch and refreshments. Earlybird tickets only £19 if booked before 24 February. BOOK HERE… Background reading British Marine Futures Report (free to non BM members but need to register) RYA Participation Survey 2017 Fragility of Yacht Clubs by Mike Bender The Future of UK Sailing by Will Bruton (Yachting Monthly Oct 2018)