| Author's Name: Eleanor Edstrom|
Date: Wed 13 May 2020
It’s no secret that we are pretty big fans of sailing here at Making Waves Foundation. But what is it exactly about sailing that makes it so fantastic? And why is it used to foster positivity in the lives of people facing disadvantage or with disabilities? Here are 10 reasons why we love sailing, and think you should too!
1. DEVELOPS SELF-CONFIDENCE
One of the requirements of sailing is that it demands you to be an active participant on the boat. This responsibility can help to empower people of all abilities and disadvantages. Through providing us with a strong sense of agency, sailing can help us to better understand our own capabilities and strengths, which consequently cultivates optimism.
2. PROVIDES A SENSE OF ADVENTURE
Every trip out on a yacht bears sights and sensations that are entirely unique from the last, whether this be the location, weather condition or type of sail. Not only does this mean that sailing never gets boring, but it also creates a constant state of unpredictability that can improve our ability to welcome and adapt to different scenarios.
3. ENDLESS LEARNING OPPORTUNITIES
On any given day, sailing participants are bound to learn something new. Over time, sailing allows us to develop a range of technical skills such as tying knots, hoisting the sail, or responding to wind patterns. Particularly for those with disadvantages, sailing can be useful in enhancing things like motor skills and coordination.
4. GIVES A SENSE OF FREEDOM
One of the most common reasons why people are drawn to sailing is because advancing over the water in the open air offers a sense of liberation, exhilaration and movement. Whether it be a mental barrier or a physical disability, this can help us to escape our perceived restrictions and depart from the confines of daily life.
5. ENGAGES THE FIVE SENSE
Sailing is an activity which heightens our physical senses and attunes us acutely to the world around us. The rushing wind, the smell of salt and the movement of the boat sweeping along the contours of the waves are all sensations which pull us fully into the present. This kind of immersion allows us to enjoy the current moment and let any stresses that we may be harbouring melt away.
6. SAILING IS NON-DISCRIMINATORY
In the arena of sailing, there is no characteristic that prevents a person from being able to participate in some form or another. Consequently, sailing creates a space where everyone is equal and the divisive social labels of age, ability, gender and race are all rendered meaningless.
7. CONNECTION TO NATURE
Whether it be soaking up the sun, appreciating the ocean’s beauty or getting caught in the rain, being out on the water is one of the best ways to experience the natural elements. Moreover, having a close connection to nature is known to boost one’s overall mood and well-being.
Sailing often presents the opportunity to meet new people and to be part of a community (especially through our programs at MWF!). On top of this, it also improves communication and teamwork skills as crew members and participants must work collectively towards a common goal.
9. HEALTH BENEFITS
Another advantage of sailing is that it is extremely beneficial for both our mental and physical health. This can include increasing muscle or cardiovascular strength, providing a healthy dose of vitamin D and exposing us to the salty sea air which balances serotonin levels in our bodies, a hormone linked to happiness.
10. SAILING IS REWARDING
It is undeniable that sailing often leaves us with a sense of accomplishment. This is partly because it removes the usual level of comfort and stability that being on land affords us. Along with the many other challenges that constantly keep sailors on their toes, this fosters a sense of true achievement once such obstacles are overcome.
We hope this inspires you to find out more about how you can get involved in our programs and discover the benefits of sailing for yourself!