Diversifying the future of the sport

Published on July 20th, 2022

In her profile of the Community Sailing Center (Burlington, VT) for CBS Mornings, Adriana Diaz offered this introduction:

“When you think about sailing camp for kids, you might think of sports like archery or soccer or swimming, maybe even sailing. But sailing can often feel out of reach for many families especially in communities of color.

“This statistic shocked me when I read it. Only one percent of the country’s sailing population is diverse. Point one, guys. We hit the water to see how one sailing camp in beautiful Vermont is trying to change that in a state that has one of the least diverse populations in the country.”

After remarking how sailing is often seen as too white, too expensive, elitist, and historically exclusionary, she interviews Owen Milne who is the Executive Director of the sailing center:

“We’re undoing damage that has happened in the sport from there being a whites-only sign on the front door of a yacht club,” notes Milne. “If sailing is our middle name, community is our first name.”

To better live up to that first name, last year they started providing free sailing camp to kids from diverse backgrounds in the Burlington community, one rich with refugees and immigrants from places like Nepal and Congo. Previously, there might have been five or six kids of color out of 500 in their program, but Milne believes this initiative can raise that to 25% in the next few years.

To watch this episode:

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