The Discover Sailing program is an Australia-wide initiative that engages Australian Sailing and Sailing Clubs in a common objective of increasing participation in sailing at affiliated clubs. It is primarily an attraction strategy to involve the broader public in the sport of sailing by developing plans, policies, and programs that overcome barriers to participation in the sport.
The Program is relevant to people of all backgrounds, ages, and abilities but does also have particular focus on priority target groups outlined by the Australian Sports Commission – children of primary school age and their families and people of all-abilities. The gemba report reinforced the need to invest in a national junior participation program that was specifically designed to attract children under the age of 12.
Discover Sailing is not just a brand or logo – it is an entire program and associated change within the sport at national, state, and club level that seeks to significantly improve the communication and delivery of sailing to people who are not currently participating. The program recognises that sailing competes with a number of other sports and leisure options and needs to raise the quality and relevance of the activities that are delivered and present them in such a way that meets the expectation of a consumer driven society.
In consultation with local Australian Sailing Clubs, Australian Sailing has assimilated the findings of the gemba report and the Australian Sports Commission’s Crawford Report to formulate practical program responses. Within the Discover Sailing program there are a number of core delivery components, all of which are based around participation as clubs.
- Discover Sailing Days at Clubs and an Australia wide Discover Sailing Day held annually. This was launched in 2013, with some clubs adopting the brand in 2012 with support from Australian Sailing. It’s expected that there are no cost to the participant when they attend a Discover Sailing Day. All affiliated clubs may participate. This is the opportunity for clubs to market and present what they offer to their local community. For a comprehensive range of Discover Sailing Day Club Resources click here.
- Discover Sailing Experiences - a new three hour sailing experience, without the technical elements of a course, for families, friends, or work colleagues on either keelboats or suitable dinghies to be run at accredited Discover Sailing Centres. This would be delivered based on a user-pays model with qualified Instructors. The experience includes getting out on the water and the chance to sample the club environment through some sort of hospitality (e.g., a bbq). For details click here .
- Discover Sailing Courses - in dinghies, keelboats, powerboats, and windsurfers. They may only be run at accredited Discover Sailing Centres (formerly Yachting Australia Training Centres). For details click here.
- Tackers- introductory sailing program specifically for children aged 7 to 12. Tackers may only be run at accredited Tackers Clubs (which must also be a Discover Sailing Centre). For more detailed information about the Tackers program click here.
- Sailability - program that includes people of all-abilities in all aspects of sailing and clubs. All clubs can provide a Sailability program in consultation with their State Association. For more information about Sailability click here.
The new website www.discoversailing.org.au is the central online resource for communicating with the broader public about how sailing is a fun, safe, accessible and affordable sport. This site contains information about the different ways to start participating in sailing and what clubs provide. The website directs the user to their local club to find out more about local delivery of the Discover Sailing program.
This improved communication strategy was a core element of the gemba report findings which suggested Google searches and social media were the principal avenue through which people accessed information about sport and leisure opportunities.
The Discover Sailing website, the use of AV communications, and social media integration will allow the sport to connect with contemporary society in an effective and timely way. Clubs are encouraged to consider the extent to which their own website reflects the club as welcoming, inclusive, and accessible with information that is suitable for people who are new to sailing.