Our core values aim to Inspire, Eductate and facilitate access to the freedom of being on the water #InYourElement. There is no clearer way of embodying this than with the Sail GP Inspire Programme, as they enable on the water education, and inspiration to the next generation in every corner of the world. Making the ability to enjoy and appreciate the water, available for those who don’t get the opportunities we often take for granted. Working around the world with SailGp Inspire we get to meet a new generation all around the world, get them the kit that keeps them on the water and spread the love and respect for the sea.
A bit of insight
As part of its commitment to sustainable development, SailGP launched the foundation phase of a robust community, education and outreach initiative – SailGP Inspire. The six helmsmen of the new global league joined the maiden group of youth participants for the program aimed at using sailing as a force for good. SailGP Inspire broadens access to the sport, offers a career pathway and aims to leave a meaningful legacy in SailGP host cities.
Dylan Fletcher, Great Britain SailGP Team Helmsman, helps teach children in the SailGP Inspire programme how to prevent a capsize. Event 4 Season 1 SailGP event in Cowes, Isle of Wight, England, United Kingdom. 9 August 2019: Photo Thomas Lovelock for SailGP. Handout image supplied by SailGP[/caption] SailGP Inspire is comprised of three innovative programmes – Learning, Careers and Racing – giving young girls, boys, women and men (ages 9-23) from all backgrounds life-changing opportunities on and off the water. SailGP Inspire is supported by four founding partners – boat suppliers RS Sailing and WASZP, technical clothing provider Rooster and robotic mark producer MarkSetBot.
“Equally important to building a sustainable, professional high-performance league is creating a pathway for young people to learn and develop experience for a future in sailing,” said SailGP CEO Sir Russell Coutts. “We’re aiming to ignite a passion in the next generation in a fun and experiential way, with a goal of delivering one of the most progressive youth initiatives in our sport. “There are many young sailors out there who are very capable of sailing high-performance boats, but they often don’t get the opportunity. We are hoping to stimulate a new wave of youth development, and look forward to helping to shape an exciting new future alongside our fantastic partners – RS Sailing, WASZP, Rooster and MarkSetBot.” “The beauty and freedom of our sport is surreal – we are emerged in nature with always changing opportunities,” said Great Britain SailGP Team helmsman Fletcher. “This is athletic excellence mixed with challenging the mind; we are always learning new techniques, analysing, prioritising and adapting – all skills that help with growth and development. Being able to share our passion with young people is incredibly rewarding, as we mix fun and education while ensuring a future for our sport.”
SailGP Inspire’s Learning program aims to provide local youth with the ultimate education experience through sailing. For two days leading up to each SailGP event, students will receive a hands-on learning experience using experiential STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, Math) education, problem-solving and intro-to-sailing sessions on the water. In addition, as an extension of the Learning program, local youth sailors will be offered the opportunity to participate in a pre-show – ‘the Rippers’ – on each SailGP race day. The male and female participants (50-50 split) will be selected in coordination with local sailing associations in each market, showcasing their talents in front of SailGP crowds and on big screens in the Race Villages.
Next, the Careers program is aimed at students 16 years old and above who are interested in the sports and/or marine industries. It introduces young men and women to professional careers in 10 areas throughout SailGP, highlighting the various professional pathways that are available, and leaving a lasting legacy for the candidates involved. Finally, the Racing program is set to launch in 2020 and will be an intermediate program geared toward young competitive sailors with an interest in hydrofoiling and racing. Each season, one girl and one boy will be funded to compete at the International WASZP Games to further broaden their experience.
SailGP Inspire will also offer community-based technical tours that explore the science of sailing and provide students with exclusive behind-the-scenes access. In addition, SailGP Race Villages will provide hands-on opportunities for visitors to enjoy educational activations courtesy of SailGP Inspire. At each event, SailGP Inspire will join with local partners to ensure opportunity and legacy within the local community. For the program’s launch during Cowes SailGP, SailGP Inspire partnered with the United Kingdom Sailing Academy and the Royal Yachting Association.
Yesterday and today (August 8-9), a total of 48 local schoolchildren are participating in the Learning program, with the first half of each day spent participating in onshore activations that demonstrate the science behind sailing. The afternoons will consist of intro-to-sailing sessions onboard RS Cat 14 boats.
In addition, tours were given to both the RYA Onboard program and students from the Isle of Wight College. Nine local sailing clubs each selected one boy and one girl (ages 13-15) from the RYA South Zone regional performance clubs to participate in the Rippers racing in front of the SailGP Race Village and Grandstand. Meanwhile, 11 young adults from the Isle of Wight College and other local universities are shadowing some of the most fascinating careers within SailGP – boat building, rigging and hydraulics; on-water management; media operations and communications; and hospitality.
Luke Morrison, Director, Rooster Ltd: “We love supporting initiatives that involve such an important demographic in our sport: young people. They are influenced by what our sport does and of course how exciting we can make it. SailGP Inspire is a fantastic extension of the SailGP brand, recognising their need to not just facilitate high octane sailing, but recognising that without young people, sailing would be in a much different place from where it is today. Rooster aims to encourage, educate and facilitate the success of these programmes.”