A PONTELAND man has received a prestigious Royal Yachting Association (RYA) accolade from royalty.
Neal Hill, Secretary of the RYA’s North East Committee, was recognised for his service to the region over the past 20 years with a RYA Regional Award.
Practical as well as professional, he has been a huge support to all the chairmen he has worked with over the years and he is also the region’s Planning and Environment Co-ordinator, a job he takes very seriously and which dovetails with his work on the organisation’s environmental Green Blue initiative and the Offshore and Coastal Consultative Panel.
He was presented with his commemorative medallion and certificate by HRH the Princess Royal, President of the RYA, at the annual Volunteer Awards ceremony held in London.
Mr Hill said: “I am honoured to have received this award and I must thank the committee and chairmen for all their backing and support over the past 20 years.
“We all have a shared responsibility to look after the sea and its environment and I like to see all boaters using the sea and its resources in a responsible way.”
As Project Engineer at Blyth Power Station until its closure in the mid 1990s, he is committed to the protection of the marine environment.
Steve Gibbon, Chairman of the RYA North East Committee, said: “Neal is a hugely supportive member of this committee and many others both nationally and internationally.
“I am delighted that he is the recipient of the RYA Regional Award this year.
“It is recognition for his outstanding service to the sailing community regionally and beyond and I extend congratulations to him on behalf of our entire community.”
Sarah Treseder, RYA Chief Executive, added: “The RYA is delighted to make this award in recognition of Neal’s enthusiasm, promotion of our sport and many years’ contribution to the North East region’s boating scene.
“A total of 56 voluntary awards were presented to winners from across the UK. All of them are an inspiration and it is my pleasure to recognise and celebrate their hard work and dedication.”