Beyond the Day-to-Day
Sharing the sailing experience is a daily focus at US Sailing and our members and supporters make it happen. Beyond the day-to-day, we're pursuing some of the big, important issues of our sport and in our time: diversity, gender equity and safety from abuse. Please read about the programs that are making an impact. Your contribution to the 2019 Spring Appeal keeps the momentum going strong. Together we're creating real and positive change, and we're so grateful for your support.
The Opportunity to Create Opportunity
"This program is the beginning of a journey. Not only for the kids, but for the sport. It's as much an opportunity for sailing as it is for the sailors."
Travis Lund, Executive Director, Treasure Island Sailing Center, San Francisco
US Sailing has an amazing opportunity to break through longstanding economic and diversity barriers in sailing. Working with the Tom and Stacey Siebel Foundation, we're launching a program that provides sailors at public access sailing centers with expanded options in sailing, and we're leading these changes from a position of strength with the resources to create a successful model for diversity and inclusion in sailing.
Gateway to Sailing
Nearly all youth sports offer a competitive track in their public access programs which open pathways to advanced competition as well as opportunities to become collegiate athletes or pursue careers in the sports industry. Constrained by a lack of resources, a competitive track does not exist at most Community Sailing Programs where there are few options for advancement beyond Learn-to-Sail programs.
Athletic ability exists at all socioeconomic levels but talented, motivated sailors participating in Community Sailing Programs have limited options for their ability. The sport is losing their boundless potential as well as a clear opportunity to increase diversity in sailing as a whole.
In today's framework, competitive sailing is an important gateway to the wider sport where young sailors can further their engagement at the regional and national level or apply their skills as lifelong sailors in any sailing discipline.
Opening the Gateway
In 2019, the Siebel Sailors Program is launching pilot programs with a select group of Community Sailing Centers around the country and offering exciting new options for enthusiastic, athletic young sailors from underserved communities. By providing performance equipment, high-trained coaches, we’re bringing the best practices in instruction, community engagement and regional training opportunities to a new populaton of young sailors. We believe that over time, their success will inspire others to join the fun and start sailing. Ultimately, we’ll see our sport growing through inclusion, and what a welcome sight it will be!
Photo courtesy of Rocking the Boat
Women in Sailing Leadership
Giving women the inspiration and confidence to take ownership of their sailing future.
While there is not shortage of ideas for promoting gender equity in sailing, US Sailing believes that long-term results will be achieved when more women hold positions of leadership in sailing – as coaches, program directors, race officials, flag officers, board members, industry professionals and more. As the business community has observed, when at last 30% of organizational leaders are women, the organizational culture, focus and even profitability benefit.
Today, US Sailing offers women the educational and networking opportunities they can leverage into positions of leadership and influence, while providing new pathways for girls and strong, successful women to emulate. And today, for the first time, 30% of the US Sailing Board of Directors are women, including our Board President, Cory Sertl. It's probably not a coincidence that more women on the Board and more programming designed for women are happening simultaneously.
Inspiration and Education
US Sailing is launching new tools this summer to give sailing instructors guidance on how to integrate gender-specific activities and ideas into their sailing program. Programming that encourages, accommodates and celebrates different learning styles will keep girls engaged and inspired to advance in sailing.
Strength through Community
Women build effective networks of support at US Sailing regional and national symposiums, such as the Sailing Leadership Forum. Breakout sessions focusing on Women in Sailing provide a forum for women to share best practices, problem-solve and celebrate successes. The connections formed at these 3-day events launch collaborative networks that extend far beyond the event itself and spread throughout the sailing community.
Advocate and Celebrate
While World Sailing has mandated gender equality in Olympic Sailing by 2024, women represent 8 out of 15 athletes on the 2019 US Sailing Team. We’re also intentional in our advocacy for gender balance among race officials, coaches, instructors and sailing program directors.
Throughout the sport, we applaud and celebrate the growing acceptance of women in leadership roles based on their competence and skill. Women with outstanding accomplishments are recognized through US Sailing Awards, presented at media-rich events to highlight their accomplishments and inspire more women to pursue the highest honors in sailing.
Leadership for a Safe Sport
Sailing should be a safe place to learn, play and excel. At US Sailing, we’re serious about our duty to protect all sailors, especially children, from physical, emotional and sexual abuse.
Mandate for Zero-Tolerance
When disturbing reports from other sports started to surface, US Sailing reacted quickly with a policy requiring SafeSport training and background checks for all staff and volunteers who engage with youth sailors. Since that time, the United States Congress mandated SafeSport policies, and US Sailing is now requiring SafeSport training for all instructors, coaches and race officials as well as staff and volunteers. As the National Governing Body for Sailing, US Sailing has instituted a zero-tolerance policy for abuse and misconduct.
Communicate and Educate
In partnership with the U.S. Center for SafeSport, we offer SafeSport Training to educate the sailing community on the signs of abuse, the obligation to report suspected abuse as well as how to initiate investigations into abuse reports conducted by the U.S. Center for SafeSport – an independent organization free from insider influence.
A Shared Imperative
To help local sailing organizations protect children and meet new legislative requirements, US Sailing has developed educational resources and provides access to the SafeSport training as well as background screening services. Working together, we can expand awareness, protect children, and provide a safe and fun sailing experience.