US Sailing’s Junior Olympic Program is a nationwide series of regattas for youth ages 8 to 21. Each event in this family of regattas is hosted by a different club or organization, but all events share a common goal: to promote the enjoyment of sailing and development of skills to young sailors as well as provide an Olympic pathway for talented junior sailors.
Events mix Olympic-style competition with elements of learning and fun for all levels–from beginning racers to those with Olympic aspirations.
In 2015, 30 events are planned in the continental United States and Hawaii and over 4000 sailors expected to participate. Junior Olympic Sailing is coordinated by US Sailing and sponsored nationally by West Marine, Gill and Sperry Top-Sider.
What’s new in 2015?
Last year US Sailing piloted an exciting new format that benefited not only the sailors but also the coaches and instructors. Expanded education was offered for race managers, volunteers and parents as well. The new theme is education – building the skills of sailors, broadening the curriculum for program directors, coaches and instructors and expanding the expertise of local race managers and volunteers. More skill builder clinics will be held in 2015 – Mentor Harbor Yacht Club (Cleveland, OH), June 26-28 and Rochester Yacht Club (NY), July 31 – Aug 2.
Objectives of the New Model
- Run a high quality, regional youth clinic and regatta concurrently.
- Provide an expanded learning opportunity for sailors, race managers and volunteers.
- Provide coaches and instructors a professional development opportunity — to be mentored by high level master coaches.
- Improve the overall quality of sailors, coaches and volunteers.
- Create a sustainable model for future JO events.
Check out the 2015 JO calendar for upcoming events.
New skill builder clinics will be held at the following events:
June 26-28 Mentor Harbor Yacht Club, Cleveland, OH
July 31 – Aug 2 Rochester Yacht Club, NY
Junior Olympic Program Goals
- Engage young people in the excitement of sailing
- Encourage young sailors to enjoy racing
- Increase participation locally, regionally and nationally through USA Junior Olympic Festivals
- Improve skills of young sailors through training
- Define a path for achievement from an early age to adulthood
The Junior Olympic Movement
Sailing is only one of the many sports that offer Junior Olympic programs. Junior Olympic competition is coordinated by the National Governing Bodies (NGB) of each sport and by the Amateur Athletic Union (AAU). The first JO programs date back to the late 1970s and some 40 NGBs in the United States run JO programs or events today. Junior Olympics come under the umbrella of the Olympic movement, for each NGB is a member of the United States Olympic Committee (USOC).
JO Hosts Needed
US Sailing is expanding its JO event schedule. Perhaps you can bring the Junior Olympics to your area. A JO event can be the spark that ignites your youth sailing program. If your club has the expertise to host a youth regatta that incorporates competition, education and fun, please contact Lee Parks at firstname.lastname@example.org or 401.683.0800 x650. More information about hosting an event in the JO Events Manual.