Targeting 10,000 young people by 2025, the global league’s community outreach program has already surpassed sixty percent of it’s Race for the Future goal
London, UNITED KINGDOM - December 2, 2021 - With SailGP Season 2’s European leg completed, the global league’s Inspire program has started to drive real impact. The community outreach efforts focusing on Inspire’s three key pillars – Learning, Careers, and Racing – continues to increase in popularity, already providing accessibility to the sport for over six thousand young people within its first championship seasons.
Well on its way to reaching its initial goal of impacting 10,000 youth by 2025, the Inspire program promotes diversity and inclusion using sport for good as part of SailGP’s better sport strategy. Engaging youth between 9 and 23 years with a wide variety of age-appropriate learning modules, career opportunities, and sail racing experiences, Inspire aims to leave a legacy at each event location by minimizing barriers to entry for young people aspiring to delve further into the sport.
Launching in Season 1, and picking up momentum currently in Season 2 despite the global pandemic, SailGP has demonstrated its commitment to providing more than entertainment value. Collaborating with sailing authorities, educational institutions, and local organizations –along with strong supplier partnerships – has enabled Inspire to deliver on its promise to leave a positive legacy and build a sustainable sport.
SailGP Inspire youth program manager Tom Herbert-Evans said: “SailGP is focused on creating a legacy at each event venue that it competes in around the world. Through Inspire, opportunities for engagement between local sailing clubs, SailGP teams and Inspire program participants are created to forge long lasting relationships, enhance local youth sailing programs, and provide access to industry experts who are helping to shape the future of the sport.
“In addition, we are thankful for partners such as RS Sailing who support a great Adopt-a-Club program at every host venue and have supported the refurbishment of 18 RS Feva’s this season that instead of being replaced are being renewed and in keeping with our sustainability goals. Doyle Sails and Marlow Ropes are also integral to ensuring we are able to refurbish many of these assets.”
Five locations were visited during the European leg of Season 2 - Taranto (ITA), Plymouth (U.K.), Aarhus (DEN), Saint-Tropez (FRA), and Cádiz (ESP). Collectively, the five events demonstrated a growing interest in the world of sailing, the science and technology behind it, and how the future of the sport is being shaped.
More than 1,500 youth have been able to participate in STEM-related activities through the Inspire Learning pathway during Season 2’s European leg. The city of Aarhus in Denmark turned out the largest group to-date reaching almost 900 program attendees leading up to the Denmark Sail Grand Prix presented by ROCKWOOL. Students attending the series of workshops over three days learned about the science of sailing and how the sport is powered by nature using the elements - sun, wind, and water.
Infrastructure such as pools, television screens and teaching tools used to deliver the STEM-based modules were then donated by SailGP to local sailing clubs, schools, and organizations. Modules used during the workshops have since been incorporated into local elementary school curriculums, continuing environmental sustainability education - aligning with the global league’s purpose driven platforms in its Race for the Future.
Opportunities through the Inspire Careers pathway placed 59 candidates hailing from across Europe, including a few individuals from previous SailGP Season 2 events, in fundamental support roles across the five events.
Ensuring a successful SailGP event involves a combined effort from departments which focus on hydraulics, boat building, sustainability, photography, video content creation, on-water operations, and more. As the global league moves forward, work placement opportunities have been presented to individuals to extend their time with the league and in some cases, a particular SailGP team.
Former Careers candidate and SailGP comms technician Hattie Askew said: “What SailGP is doing to get young people into the sailing industry is truly a game changer. I completed the Inspire Careers work experience and just got my head down and supported the tech team. All of a sudden I was invited back as part of the global team and my life has been changed forever.
“There are many young people who may not think a career in sailing is a possibility. But I think that if you have the passion and reach out, people are more than happy to help and make it a possibility”.
While the Inspire Learning and Careers programs took place onshore, 160 Inspire Racing candidates took to the F50 racecourses across the five events to showcase their passion and skills in front of thousands of fans.
The introduction of the Adopt-a-Club program - pairing local sailing clubs with a SailGP team - has been expanding access to the sport among youth who might otherwise find it difficult to participate. Nominated by their respective clubs, pairs of young sailors were given the opportunity to race onboard RS Fevas during the event race.
More advanced racing using the WASZP class added another layer of excitement for youth looking to build on their sailing techniques to grow within the overall sport. A challenging class of boat, WASZP sailing is a foiling stepping stone for youth to further enhance their individual skills before entering into the realm of the F50s.
Creating a sailing legacy within the clubs, SailGP Inspire worked with its partners to fashion programs that would continue to aid in the local sailing programs after each event. The refurbishment of RS Fevas; the donation of WASZPs, equipment, and funds to provide passes to sail training are all part of the ongoing efforts to use sport for good.
Head of World Sailing Trust, Victoria Low said: "As a Trust we believe very strongly that sailing is for everyone, whatever their gender, capacity, wealth, age or nationality. Challenging the perceptions of our sport lies at the heart of our people focus area and initiatives such as SailGP Inspire have supported accessible entry points to the sport as well as leave a positive legacy at each of the SailGP event locations during Season 2.”
SailGP and its Inspire program heads to the Australia Sail Grand Prix presented by KPMG on December 17-18. Tickets for fan experiences are on sale, and selling fast. To find out more and secure your tickets before they sell-out visit SailGP.com/Sydney.