It’s been a very big quarter in terms of participation with a substantial 1000 more participants in January, compared to last year, completing learn to sail and powerboat courses. We are now 7% ahead of the previous year, with outstanding results in WA and ACT, along with some moderate increases in VIC and NSW.
Royal Freshwater Bay Yacht Club is leading the way this year with a real spread of participation across the Tackers, Dinghy and Keelboat programs. Two-thirds of their participation has come from the introductory-type courses known as ‘Experiences’ and the Sporting Schools program, which then provides a substantial pool of interested people to promote full courses and club membership to. Jenny Suffield, Centre Principal says.
"Focusing on Discover Sailing Experiences this season have proven to be highly successful – most of our opportunities have been provided in locations external to the yacht club. Bringing sailing to the general public has increased awareness and visibility of our sport and has resulted in an increase in participation in our full programs and club activities.
Our Little Tackers courses cater for the 4 to 6 year old group, these introductory courses are a great way to actively engage young children in our sport. These popular courses provide an entry point into the Tackers pathway and encourage our youngest sailors to get involved and have fun around sailing. The majority of our Little Tackers sailors go on to participate in the Tackers program once they are seven.
We are proactive in providing timely and relevant information to all our participants whether they be from Discover Sailing Experiences or a full course. We ensure participants are kept up to date and keen to remain involved - clear communication ensures we continue to meet expectations and provide opportunities that are relevant and of interest to our participants. Providing opportunities for sailors to engage with sailing in a non-competitive environment, such as our Adventurer’s Clubs, ensures we not only cater to the demands of our membership but also encourages our learn to sail graduates and their families to engage in Club activities."
Well done to Sandringham Yacht Club for making the Top 10 in every Program, along with Flying Fish Australia who lead the Powerboat program.
Another club in the spotlight is Canberra Yacht Club. They elect to only provide full courses and their numbers are once again fantastic. With a 16% increase from the previous year, Canberra are shaping up to have the most impressive figures relating to full courses. Matt Owen, Centre Principal says “We’ve worked very hard this year, always aiming to deliver a quality product. Having fantastic, motivated instructors that want to give back to the sport and grow participation helps. Literally every Assistant Instructor we have, once completed the Tackers program themselves as a participant, which is great. Tackers is the first introduction to the sport of sailing and that’s why we’ve chosen to invest so heavily in our Junior program and it’s reaping the rewards, bringing people and families through the club, getting people on to the Sailing Pathway."