RYA Cymru WSA Membership Testimonial

Gerwyn Owen was CEO of RYA Cymru for three years and, before he left the role at the end of May 2022, spoke to the Welsh Sports Association (WSA) about how membership has aided him and his organisation.

Gerwyn began by explaining why RYA Cymru have remained members over the years.

We’ve always wanted to be part of the wider sports sector, trying to be one voice rather than us all going to different stakeholders as separate entities. The benefit of having that umbrella organisation, which the WSA is, to represent us at the table of said stakeholders in certain situations has been key – more so of course since the COVID-19 Pandemic hit.  

They’ve really identified what their role is within the sector and now bring real value to all those within it. The benefit they bring to us as an individual organisation really outweighs any other reason why we shouldn’t be involved – the real question is why shouldn’t we be members! 

Gerwyn continued to outline the support he’d felt from the WSA.

What’s been worth its weight in gold and has given me, personally, a huge amount of help has been the governance and leadership support. As well as benefitting me, it’s enhanced the organisation, of course.  

I was a new CEO three years ago and the level of support that was offered allowed me to bed in, understand, and define where our organisation was going – purely by engaging with those governance and leadership resources that were provided to us. 

The support through the Pandemic has been brilliant. 

There’s been one voice for the sector when communicating with Welsh Government, negotiating, gathering information and disseminating information while also allowing us as an organisation, despite our differences, to discuss with certain departments’ heads.  

Fundamentally, I’d say that, without the WSA, the sporting sector wouldn’t have been able to come through the couple of years we’ve had so successfully. They embedded the working groups which in turn fed into Welsh Government.  

That identified that the sector was working together and, through that, the WSA has clearly shown what its value is to the sector while remaining thoughtful as to what we wanted in terms of a response and support – and why any organisation ought to be a member. 

I get in touch with the WSA for various situations – whether it be for training programmes through Steffan or guidance on policy through Matt, for example – and each time it’s been an open door.  

No silly question is left unanswered, so to speak – even when they undoubtedly had 50 or 60 members asking the same question during the Pandemic! 

Gerwyn concluded by summarising what it meant to be a member of the WSA.

For any organisation, the value of being members outstrips the cost because of the level of service you receive in return; membership opens doors for you and ensures that you’re a fit and able company to deliver. 

To discover the plethora of services available through the WSA’s core membership offer and Membership Plus, click here.

And to find out how to become a member, click here.

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