Please select your home edition
Edition
Naiad 728x90px_Tourist

Women hit the water in revolutionary new Women on Water program

by Harry Fisher 15 Jan 10:41 PST 9-18 December 2019
The Mount Martha Yacht Club provides some of the most picturesque sailing conditions © Mary Tulip

A Melbourne yacht club is breaking down the barriers of female participation in sailing through a revolutionary program known as Women on Water, paving the way for sailing and creating significant positive change in the local area.

The Women on Water Program at Mount Martha Yacht Club is supported by Change Our Game, an initiative of the Victorian Government that aims to use one off female-focused activities to create lasting impacts on local sporting communities.

The club's Women's Sailing Representative, Roellen Gillmore, says the current state of play has women under-represented in sailing, which was an unfortunate statistic.

However she says things are heading in the right direction and with programs such as Women on Water, female sailors are being provided with equal opportunity and clubs are creating vastly positive outcomes.

"There have been a number of improvements already, with growing female participation at club level, female sailor quotas in the Volvo Ocean Race, as well as a lot of government support and grass roots initiatives," Roellen says.

"But let's face it, there are a lot of barriers to female participation, such as child-minding, time commitment, and lack of support - so we still have a long way to go."

As a new mother, Roellen understands the road blocks that make it difficult for women to get more regularly involved in sport, but she is passionate about finding solutions so women at her club can get involved more easily and stay engaged with sailing and water sports.

"I'm becoming all too familiar with the challenges some women face, I can't go sailing the way I used to, but I am determined to still get out there," she says.

"Now that our sailing club offers more than just Sunday racing, I'm making new friends and enjoying my time on the water a lot more."

As part of the Women on Water program at Mount Martha, women have access to club-owned crewed boats to encourage social participation, a range of quality sailing gear to borrow without having to invest in their own, Sunday morning sailing and 'come and try' days as a social option, as well as much more.

If sailing isn't someone's preferred choice but they still want to get out on the water, Mount Martha also offers a number of other activities such as kayaking and stand-up paddle boarding to provide options and further enhance the program.

Women also have access to a range of training opportunities at the club, helping to build confidence on the water and create more diversity in female roles on the club duty roster.

Come Try Sailing courses kicked off in December with Sunday social sailing for Ladies kicking off weekly from this Sunday for 2019.

Stand-up paddle boarding sessions have also been really popular so far and there is still availability in the new year.

For more information head through to mmyc.org.au/women-on-water or contact Roellen whose details are at the bottom of the page.

Related Articles

Inside Melges: The February Issue
Continuing tradition while pushing forward It was nearly 75 years ago that Harry C. Melges Sr. built the first Melges Boat. Today, the Melges commitment to detail, community building, and passion for the sport hasn't changed. Posted today at 7:00 pm
The Ocean Race bags hat-trick of shortlists
For prestigious industry-selected sport awards The Race has been nominated for prizes by sports industry selectors in a trio of areas – Fan or Community Engagement Award, Cutting Edge Sport Award, Social and Sustainable Development Award – following a record-breaking 2017-18 edition. Posted today at 3:20 pm
Wizard wins the RORC Caribbean 600 Trophy
David and Peter Askew's American Volvo 70 scores best IRC corrected time David and Peter Askew's American Volvo 70 Wizard has won the 2019 RORC Caribbean 600 Trophy, scoring the best corrected time under IRC. Wizard put in a near faultless performance to complete the 600 mile non-stop race in 43 hours 38 minutes and 44 seconds Posted today at 10:23 am
18ft Skiff Club Championship final this weekend
Can the Asko Appliances team add a 3rd title to their season record? The Asko Appliances 18ft Skiff team is set to add the Australian 18 Footers League Club Championship to its trophy cabinet as the team leads the 18-strong fleet into Sunday's last race of the series on Sydney Harbour. Posted today at 10:02 am
Nespresso Int'l Youth MR Cup: Host leads on Day 2
RNZYS Performance Programme Teams are leading the 14-boat fleet after Day 2 RNZYS Performance Programme Teams lead by James Wilson and Nick Egnot-Johnson are leading the 14-boat fleet after two days of match racing in Auckland at the Nespresso Youth International Match Racing Cup. Posted today at 8:28 am
America's Cup: AC75 rig concept took 20 minutes
Top sail designer, Burns Fallow explains the two-skinned mainsail and AC75 rig - Part 1 Emirates Team New Zealand sail designer, Burns Fallow says the radical idea for a two skinned mainsail for the AC75 foiling monohull came up after just a 20-minute brainstorming session held a month after the America's Cup win in Bermuda. Posted today at 3:19 am
Deja-vu for Sailing on IOC Qualifier crackdown
In a case similar to Sailing in 2015, the IOC has acted decisively on Visa refusal for athletes Exclusion of Pakistani shooters has parallels to similar exclusions in Sailing in 2013-2016 where Israeli sailors were excluded from world championships by countries who had an estranged diplomatic relationship with Israel. Posted on 21 Feb
2018 Yachtsman & Yachtswoman of the Year announced
Jud Smith, Carmen and Emma Cowles selected 2018 Rolex Yachtsman and Yachtswoman of the Year Over the past six decades, the sailing community has had the unique opportunity to discuss and analyze the fascinating contrasts between the winners of US Sailing's Rolex Yachtsman and Yachtswoman of the Year. Posted on 21 Feb
Heineken Regatta Village to open on February 25th
Showing what people can expect during the week of the Regatta The St Maarten Heineken Regatta will set sail on February 28th – March 3rd and is hosting a kick-off party with the grand opening of the Regatta Village this coming Monday February 25th at 6pm. Posted on 21 Feb
How sailors are preparing for The Ocean Race
Two and a half years to go to the start With just over two and a half years to go to the start, the organisers and sailors are already busy preparing behind the scenes for this new event on the IMOCA calendar. Posted on 21 Feb
Melges 14 2019 FooterRS Sailing BOTTOMNaiad 660x82px_Rescue