Passing the baton to the next generation

Published on August 20th, 2021

While the structure of youth and school competition helps to direct the herd, it is equally important to expose the next generation to a type of sailing that exists beyond the age-based organization.

Prior to the widespread growth of teenage scholastic sailing, kids would transition from their prams to the types of boats that were prevalent in their area. But nowadays, it can take a bit of pulling to introduce the options.

When it comes to boats that are affordable and easy to store and launch, the Sunfish Class rates high on the list. Here is an appeal from Class Youth Coordinator, Vicki Palmer:

Something we can all agree on is that encouraging Youth participation is the future of our Class. We can repeat this fact over and over, but what YOU personally can do to help us accomplish this is the milestone we have to reach first.

• What Youth in your Club or Region can you mentor?
• What Club(s) can you offer to set up a Sunfish clinic for their Youth program?
• What Youth could you bring to your next Sunfish competition with his/her parents’ permission, of course?
• What fun Youth Sunfish sailing event could you organize at your Club?

At the Class level, we will always make Youth participation a priority. But we need YOU or someone you know to introduce Sunfish sailing to those Youth who have some interest in sailing. And we need YOU or someone you know to take that extra step to keep them involved with Sunfish sailing at some level.

We know the many benefits a Youth, or anyone, gets just from being a part of any organized sailing group: confidence and responsibility to name just two. Let their parents know about these benefits and get them on board too with the idea that Sunfish sailing is more than just about fun. It’s about helping a Youth grow and become a better person at so many different levels.

What you do today – and tomorrow – and the day after that to share the joys of Sunfish sailing, a sport that benefits all those who participate at any level, is definitely newsworthy. What you accomplish may provide the perfect example for others to imitate.

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