CUMBRIAN sailor Julie Tomkinson has received a Royal Yachting Association award from HRH the Princess Royal for her work at South Windermere Sailing Club.

Tomkinson, from Whitehaven, was presented with the Community Award for Outstanding Contribution at the organisation’s awards, where she collected a commemorative medallion and certificate.

As a teacher, Tomkinson’s interest in children and their involvement at the club has seen it develop during her 12 years in Windermere from a club solely focused on racing to one which caters for everyone, especially junior participation in sailing.

Between 2004 and 2006 she acted as commodore but is now junior sailing secretary.

She said: “I felt totally overwhelmed, I was totally speechless. It was an honour to pick up the award and meet Princess Anne.

“I felt I was picking it up not just for me but for the people that have helped me get into sailing. Sailing is such a great sport whether you are young or old everyone can participate, it occupies both mind and body. It is a sport that is so good for young people to develop all kinds of skills.”