Making a positive difference

Published on September 2nd, 2020

Magnus ‘Magthemotivator’ Liljedahl doesn’t sit around shining his Star Class gold medal from the Sydney 2000 Olympics, but instead is the bread and butter of Team Paradise, a US Sailing Accredited Community Sailing Center.

Magnus is all about providing sailing opportunities and education for everyone at all levels of ability, including the disabled, under-served communities, and US veterans. In this report, he shares how Team Paradise has been moving the needle:

Launched with US Sailing in 2019, the Siebel Sailors Program has made a big difference for Team Paradise Sailing in Miami by supplying us with critical tools to help us succeed in our community youth sailing program.

Within a short time the Siebel Sailors Program has been established in five regions across the United States and we are stoked to be among them! Each region has a Primary Center and multiple Supporting Centers, with all centers receiving assistance from a regional coach, a coach, boat and six new RS Fevas — a two-person dinghy and the perfect boat for teaching kids.

Team Paradise was selected as a Supporting Siebel Center earlier in 2020, but due to COVID-19, our inaugural event had to wait, but we were able to host the first-ever Siebel Sailors Program event in Florida at the US Sailing Center in Miami on August 26-28.

Participating in this event were five kids from foster homes in our local community, along with a couple of siblings from our recent summer camp. Our Siebel Coach, Mackenzie McGuckin, arrived the night before, bringing with her all the bells and whistles that make the Siebel Sailors Program so unique.

Over the next three days, Coach Mackenzie took over and did a fantastic job….I was privileged to witness perfection! The detailed curriculum had the kids engaged from the moment they arrived. As expected, when US Sailing backs a program, no detail is missing.

The Siebel Sailors Program requires at least 50% of sailors in the program represent youth who have historically been underrepresented in the sailing community, and they can participate free of charge. Team Paradise’s mission is “…make sailing accessible to all” and we have historically recruited young sailors from diverse backgrounds, so the Siebel Sailors Program was a perfect fit for us!

Being awarded the designation of Supporting Siebel Center means that we now have more quality resources to not only introduce the sport of sailing, but to develop skilled and life-long sailors who can participate in all aspects of the sport!

The need for healthy outdoor recreational activities for these kids is greater than ever, and Team Paradise is able to answer the call and make a positive difference for so many. We are grateful for this tremendous opportunity!

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