News & Events for Chesapeake Bay

Keeping Kids in Sailing

Date Posted: 2018-12-17
Source: Scuttlebutt

Ben Cesare, publisher of the northeast magazine WindCheck, has been tackling the topic of youth sailing. Here’s his update.

In our September issue, my Publisher’s Log made a case against the Optimist as a training boat. In October, we published some letters that agreed with the premise. This month there are some letters in defense.

Beyond those, we have gathered many points of view… frankly it’s been exhausting as the topic generates a huge number of stories and opinions. Following is an effort to synthesize and provide a prescription. Luckily for me, I have a dog in this hunt. But then again, ultimately, we all do.

Before we dive in, let’s be clear about what we are after. The discussion is around how many kids are we losing from sailing (any kind of sailing) before the age of 12 and what can we do about it.

To justify focusing on the 10 to 12 age group (beyond my own child), I reached out to John Pearce, Youth Director at US Sailing. John is working on a concept he has called Squaring the Pyramid which refers to the concepts we are discussing; essentially, keeping more kids involved in our very broad sport. He is also gathering research from various successful “mainstream” sports around on how to use fun as a tool for better teaching sports skills.

Read the full story.

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