'Kids give the thumbs up to a Discover Sailing Day - pic courtesy YA - Discover Sailing Day'
As we continue to celebrate Australian sailors and their success at the 2012 Olympic Games, and more recently those in instrumental positions aboard the winning America’s Cup boat, summer has arrived in Australia, and with it, the sailing season.
To celebrate and kick-start the season, approximately 70 clubs around Australia have already signed up for Australia’s first ever national ‘Discover Sailing Day’, to take place on Sunday October 27, 2013. It is free of charge and all are welcome.
The day aims to deliver a strong message to sports lovers that anyone in Australia can enjoy the fun of sailing; that sailing clubs are welcoming and have the personnel on hand to help you take and enjoy your first steps in the sport.
Sailing can be a fun activity or hobby, a weekend relaxer, for those who would like to move up and race at club level, and for others seeking to represent at state, national and international level. It offers a level playing field for able-bodied and disabled sailors.
Some people perceive sailing as being a bastion of the rich, but they could not be further from the truth. So many of our best known and loved sailors have come from everyday backgrounds, including at America’s Cup and Olympic level; they just found a passion for sailing, as anyone finds passion for their chosen sport after discovering sailing at their local clubs.
'Discover Sailing Days are just one part of the overall ‘Discover Sailing Program’,' Yachting Australia’s Participation Manager, Daisy Brooke says.
'While individual states and clubs have undertaken their own initiatives in the past, there’s an obvious benefit in us banding together for a common and long term brand that promotes sailing.'
Having led the very successful NSW BIA ‘Try Sailing Day’ for the last few years, Yachting NSW’s General Manager, David Edwards says, 'Yachting NSW is very pleased to have the continuing support of the NSW BIA in this transition and we’re excited to see this day going national under the new brand.
Members at Albury Wodonga Yacht Club prepare pizza for their guests - pic courtesy YA - Discover Sailing Day - Yachting Australia
'We’ve seen the success of these days in the past; they raise the profile of sailing and boating and attract people to clubs. Again this year, in NSW, we’re providing extensive media support to the ‘Discover Sailing Day’ to further get the word out, thanks to the BIA. '
Participating clubs have registered with their State Associations and accessed supporting materials to help on the day and guidelines on how to run the day, through to promotional banners and signage.
'We know from market research that the most effective way for clubs to promote themselves and attract new participants is via their current members and in their local community,' Brooke says. 'So the focus of our energy has been in providing clubs with the resources they need under the national Discover Sailing brand.
'Of course states and clubs can run as many Discover Sailing Days as they can manage throughout each season, but by having one day per year, we think we can attract media interest and raise community awareness over the next few years,' she ends.
The Discover Sailing Program, funded by the Australian Sports Commission, includes a website . It is specifically for non-sailors and links through to 350 clubs around Australia.
The website and other facets of the Discover Sailing Program have been designed based on a major market research project undertaken by gemba Research in 2011-12, relating to Australians’ attitudes to sailing and clubs. It provides opportunities for visitors to register their attendance at the Discover Sailing Day with their preferred club.
'Most importantly,' Brooke says, 'the website registration gives clubs the ability to capture contact details so they can follow up visitors and offer them one of the many ways to progress their participation on the sailing pathway.'
‘discover’ participating clubs and register for the ‘Discover Sailing Day nearest you.
For club officials and members wanting More information, contact your State Association.
by Di Pearson
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4:18 AM Wed 9 Oct 2013GMT
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