Does sailing actually yield any benefit beyond just getting out on the water and having fun?
The Royal Yachting Association have undertaken research on what young people get from sailing. They’ve identified six character attributes that sailing can help to develop;
We can absolutely attest to this. The greatest satisfaction from delivering children’s sailing courses, both throughout the school term at weekends and during the summer months, is seeing young people develop in these areas. In fact, what’s so satisfying is that many young people who would never have sailed only for trying out one of our courses go on to leverage these character attributes as instructors themselves.
There’s no set rule for making a boat go, or solving a problem you’re presented with afloat. With the confidence that our team of instructors will keep the young person safe, we allow them attempt to deal with each challenge as its presented. Our ethos has been for all students to sail in pairs, thereby ensuring good helm/crew communication and teamwork.
Once a child has passed the beginner sailor stage, a huge degree of self-reliance is required when afloat Again, we’ve structured our teaching in such a way that children are allowed the space to safely develop this skill, in confidence that the instructors are close by offering advice and to be on hand if help is needed.
We wholeheartedly endorse the research put together by the RYA, and we can see these very same benefits in our team of senior staff, many who started sailing as youngsters in the school, our dinghy instructors, newly qualified team members and students at all stages of the process. It’s not medals, and race results we’re after, but to help a young person become a confident, determined, creative team worker and communicator.
We’ll be delving into these specifics of these character attributes in a series of articles, highlighting our personal experiences of the great success stories participation in sailing can bring about.
What makes a sailing course great!