A WORCESTERSHIRE sailor will receive one of the Royal Yachting Association’s (RYA) most prestigious awards from HRH the Princess Royal – President of the RYA – later this month in recognition of his huge contribution to the sport.
Arden Sailing Club’s Alan Salerman, from Rubery near Bromsgrove, will be honoured with an RYA Lifetime Commitment Award at sailing’s national governing body’s annual awards ceremony in London on Friday, November 21.
Salerman has been an enduring figure on the West Midlands sailing scene for over 40 years, but his greatest legacy is arguably the role he played in driving the re-establishment of Arden SC, near Pershore, after it was forced to move from its previous site in 1997.
Although a small club, his determination and enthusiasm convinced enough members a fresh start, although daunting, was possible.
A new location was found and, almost single-handedly, Salerman had plans drawn up and planning permission applied for and granted second time around.
His refusal to give up in the face of initial rejection also led to him obtaining over £35,000 of funding and the final result of his persistence were excellent facilities, with the majority of the works being carried out by the club’s own members, inspired by Salerman’s passion.
Salerman was nominated for his award by his club and selected as a winner by the RYA Awards panel. He will enjoy a celebratory lunch in the presence of HRH The Princess Royal and be presented with a commemorative medallion and certificate.
Salerman, who joined Arden after thinking wife Jean and their children, David and Karen, would enjoy pottering about on the attractive River Avon, said: “With a name like mine, what activity other than sailing could I have pursued?!
“Sailing, and club membership especially, has brought friendship, long-standing in many cases, opportunities for social inter-action and physical activity but, above all, the quiet satisfaction from harnessing and turning to advantage, either racing or cruising, the strength and vagaries of the planet’s petulant wind stream.
“My greatest pleasure was, together with other club members, setting up a Training Centre and seeing the delight on the faces of those who gained RYA sailing certificates, knowing they had been introduced to much more than the sport itself.
“It was a huge surprise to discover I would be receiving this award. I had decided to ease up content in the knowledge I may have afforded others the means and enthusiasm to enjoy the sport as much as I have. In this my thanks have always been to those who have assisted me and to Jean for her support and active participation throughout.”
For over a quarter of a century, Salerman has helped many hundreds of people learn to and regularly enjoy sailing as Arden SC’s RYA Training Principal and Chief Instructor and he helped grow the popularity of sailing across the region while also serving on the RYA West Midlands committee.
Keith Stevens, who nominated him on behalf of Arden SC, said: “We are delighted Alan has been recognised for his sheer dedication, commitment, enthusiasm, sportsmanship and friendship to Arden SC and its members.
“He has not only actively promoted the sport of sailing but encouraged many of us to become instructors under his leadership. His attention to detail is exceptional with our annual inspections showing a high standard of training and organisation. This award more than justifies his exceptional lifetime of commitment as a volunteer.”