New head of RYA Scotland
James Stuart, 30, has been appointed as RYA Scotland’s new Chief Operating Officer (COO). James joins RYAS from the Scottish Equestrian Association, where he was COO. After graduating from Southampton University, James spent 8 years in the Army, where he served in Bosnia and Iraq, and trained in many other countries.
A keen sportsman, James competed for the Army in marathon kayaking, sailing and skeleton bobsleigh. He has sailed ever since learning at age 10, and has raced both dinghies and yachts. He became a sailing Instructor at age 16, and was appointed as a Coach/Assessor in 2009. Off the water James has worked with RYA Scotland as a lead instructor with Sailing in the City (SITC) and as the chairman of the Participation Development Group, which encourages RYA training centres and clubs to bring new people into the sport.
On his appointment as RYAS COO, James commented that RYA Scotland has many strengths to build on. "RYAS has a very strong team of staff and volunteers, working hard in all aspects of sailing across Scotland. Underpinning all of this are excellent relationships with the national agency for sport, sportscotland, and the RYA head office.”
“I look forward to building the reputation and popularity of sailing and boating in Scotland further from this strong starting point,” James said. “Scotland has an amazing coastline, plus many inland lochs. Wherever you live, you are sure to have an ideal spot to start sailing nearby.”
“At RYA Scotland, we have staff and initiatives, ready and able to help people at all levels of the sport, from encouraging the grassroots, to progressing into racing and on to Olympic competition. In Scotland we will play our part in keeping British Olympic sailing in its current number 1 position in the world as we look forward to the 2012 London Games.”
James starts work at RYA Scotland on 10 May.