Royal appointment for Macclesfield sailors

HRH The Princess Royal, President of the Royal Yachting Association, will present a Macclesfield couple with one of the RYA’s most prestigious awards this month, in recognition of their exceptional generosity and commitment to the sport.

David and Margaret Burnham, who sail at Rudyard Lake Sailing Club near Leek, will receive an RYA Lifetime Commitment Award, for individuals who have shown exceptional commitment and dedication to their club or organisation for at least 15 years, at the RYA’s annual awards ceremony at One Great George Street, London on Friday 24 November.

Sailing has been a family affair for the Burnhams as the couple, who have sailed at Rudyard Lake for over 30 years, have seen their daughters and now grandsons be inspired in the sport. As President and Training Principal, David, 74, played a lead role in the club restructuring and its selection as a 2016 RYA Club of the Year finalist, while Margaret’s fundraising success in facilities lettings and organising socials has helped keep membership fees down.

David said: “Margaret decided at 40 to try something new so the whole family went on an RYA dinghy course and then joined Rudyard Lake. Our daughters made new friends and developed their independence by taking part in an adventurous sport in a safe environment, while Margaret and I had a lot of fun competing in our Enterprise dinghy.”

“We’ve also able to sail in many parts of the world, from the Whit Sunday Islands to the Caribbean and the Mediterranean, with three generations on board. It’s great to see two of our grandsons now enjoying dinghy sailing. When we found out we had won this award we were so surprised and pleased for the club. Whatever we have achieved wouldn’t have been possible without the support of so many members, particularly during the redevelopment.”

The RYA is boating’s national governing body and the Volunteer Awards are considered the ‘MBE’ of the sport, honouring people throughout the UK for their outstanding contributions across all the disciplines the RYA represents, including sailing, windsurfing, powerboating, inland waterways and personal watercraft. The Burnhams were nominated for their awards by their club and selected as winners by the RYA Honours and Awards Panel.

For more information about the RYA Volunteer Awards or to find out how you can get out on the water in the Midlands visit

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