Sailing is a sport with space for absolutely everyone. Developing welcoming and inclusivespaces is a on-going process of education, communication and critical reflection of ourbehaviour and the environments we interact with.
We can modify both our learning environments and our equipment to foster morewelcoming and inclusive spaces by being intentional about who we want to better includeand working to understand the barriers and lack of safety being faced. It’s important weseek to understand different perspectives and co-create solutions.
A number of approaches can be applicable. Here are a few to consider:
Partner Organizations: Reaching out to different community organizations can be an excellent way to build widerrelationships between your program and the community. They can also be excellentpartners co-creating solutions to develop more welcoming and inclusive sailing programs.
Space to meet specific needs: It’s true that many people can learn to sail within the same programs together. It’s alsotrue that it can helpful to offer programs which are exclusive to those who havetraditionally faced additional barriers to participation and designed to support specificneeds; like fostering women and girls participation in sailing by offering programs forwomen by women, or introducing sailing to those with disabilities with spaces, instructors, training & equipment designed to specifically meet the participant needs.
These spaces can be important, it’s key that they are also linked to the wider community.
More inclusive programs: At the same time as offering programs focused on supporting the needs of those whohave traditionally faced additional barriers to participation, it’s also important that wework to make the programs we offer to everyone more inclusive by:
Modifying/including equipment and modifying facilities to meet a wider variety ofneeds – including people of different sizes and disabilities.
By continuing to foster and champion an inclusive culture and engage with and offertraining and education focused on actively understanding reducing barriers to participation.
Having additional resources and support on hand to accommodate individuals withspecific needs.