Derwent Reservoir Sailing Club is celebrating after being shortlisted for a national award.

The club, nestled near Blanchland, is among one of 14 contenders nationwide vying for the title of 2024 Royal Yachting Association (RYA) Club of the Year.

Recognised as one of four in the Active clubs category, the club, run by volunteers, prides itself on promoting and encouraging community involvement.

Ann Penny, training principal, said: "In recent times we’ve adapted and embraced new water users, including paddleboarders, kayakers and open water swimmers.

"It’s fantastic to see people enjoying not only the water sports but also the social aspect of what we provide at the club.

“As a members’ club we’ve been trying to react to what people want and being shortlisted for the Club of the Year awards is absolutely wonderful.

"We have lots of members who give their time and volunteer so it’s rewarding to know that people appreciate the club and what we do.”

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The club, which boasts around 700 members, is also an RYA Recognised Training Centre and gives people the chance to have first-hand experiences with day tickets.

Informal improver, women’s and learn-to-race sessions give beginners and families a chance to enhance their confidence and skills.

For its efforts in instruction and training, the club holds RYA OnBoard and British Youth Sailing accreditation for children and young people aged eight-18.

Among its members is international ParaSailing competitor Adam Billany, and the club is also an RYA Sailability centre.

Accessible dinghies ensure the lure of the water extends to all, including those with physical disabilities.

Hexham Courant: An open day at Derwent Reservoir Sailing ClubAn open day at Derwent Reservoir Sailing Club (Image: David Leck, Consett in Focus)

Nominator of the club for the award, Kirsty Jane Brown, a member since 2021, said: "We joined as a family of four hoping to learn something new together and independently."

Ms Brown's daughter has since qualified as an RYA dinghy instructor, and her son hopes to teach windsurfing.

She said: "It is like a big family. The members are encouraging, nurturing and supportive, and we have made some really good friends."

The award winners will be announced on February 24 at the RYA Dinghy and Watersports Show at Farnborough International.

Newcomers can attend the club's open day on June 1 to explore sailing and windsurfing.