Its National Volunteer Week and this week’s theme is ‘Give a little. Change a lot’. The week-long celebration is a chance for us to acknowledge all of the contributions that our nation’s volunteers have provided.
Volunteers are integral to sailing. Volunteers touch many facets of our sport, from helping to run and manage yacht clubs to volunteer race officers and club judges, to supporting organisations like Sailability, helping people of all abilities get out sailing.
Looking for something to do this weekend? Try volunteering! Here are five ways you can have fun while supporting your local sailing community.
Volunteer for your local Yacht Club or Sailing Association
Yacht Clubs and Sailing Associations often rely on a plethora of volunteers to run the club and its programs. This includes everything from administration to club maintenance, helping to run events or assisting with junior sailing programs, or joining one of the many committees that are responsible for managing sailing, membership and social activities.
Become an Accredited Race Official
Race organisers often rely of volunteer Race Officers and Protest Committees to run their sailing events.
These positions are not just a great way to give back, but also offer a learning opportunity for sailors who are interested to better understand the mechanics of running a race and application of the racing rules of sailing.
Check out your National Sailing Association or talk to your club about how to become accredited as a Race Officer, Umpire or Judge.
Help People of All Abilities Go Sailing
There are many programs designed to help people of all abilities get out on the water. These provide a fun and safe atmosphere for volunteers and participants to go sailing.
Sailability is one of these ‘not-for-profit’ volunteer-based organisations, operating around the world. Their mission is to help enrich the lives of people of all abilities through the activity of sailing – the elderly, the financially and socially disadvantaged as well as people with physical challenges.
Help People to Learn New Sailing Skills
If you’re an experienced crew member, consider going along with a less-experience crew as a volunteer on-board coach. You can bring some valuable skills and experience to help them improve their sailing, as well as having a fun day out on the water yourself.
For yacht owners, taking some new sailors out for a day to help them gain some sailing experience, can be a very rewarding, and fun activity. Introducing new people to sailing and up-skilling them in how to fill various crew positions also provides a great benefit to our sport, by growing the number of participants involved in sailing.
If you’re interested to help some new crew go sailing, talk to your club to see if they know anyone who has expressed interest in getting involved, or you can check out the MySail Connect crew search page and take a look for people in your area who have little or no sailing experience and invite them along for a sail.
Start your own Initiative
Have your own idea about what needs to be done? Why not start your own initiative and inspire others to help!
This could be a marina or harbour clean-up, help for a local wildlife population, sharing your marine skills and experience with others, or, literally, anything!
Do you have a volunteer project or initiative you’d like others to know about? We’d love to hear, and help share it. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.