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423zero View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote 423zero Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27 Mar 21 at 10:10am
My club is a short walk from West Bromwich town centre, we have thousands a day walk round the lake, we no longer have any ethnic minority members, not from any lack of effort on our part, some years ago we had a Polish family and a Sikh woman, both professional people, only one member actually lives in West Brom', these facts do raise comments from other organisations when dealing with them, when you say 'it's not due to lack of trying' stoney silence. My club would welcome ideas on how we can encourage people to sail, ANY people, our membership is in decline year on year.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote iGRF Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27 Mar 21 at 1:58pm
I've got to say I find it difficult to actually take offence at anything written above, OP or subsequent posts and I tend to agree with Paramedic in his suggestion of reasons for push back.

But none of this adresses the issues, which are that sailing is in decline, whatever ethnic group you consider and some may have not even got going.

Many years ago when windsurfing turned the corner into decline we hired all manner of consultants to find out why and what they came up with pretty much is still as relevant today as it was for us back then. Some of the facts that arose and I'll bet probably even more relevant in some ethnic groups more than others, but listed on peoples greatest fears, deep water was right up there. The number of people just being able to swim, never mind swim in the deep end, it was ridiculously low for an island nation and I doubt the recent influx from overseas has done much to exacerbate that. Then there were the three big ones, Elitist, Inaccessible and Too difficult to bother with anyway.

We can be as woke as we like but they are the obstacles that need addressing, not any misguided lack of diversity or inclusion.

Edited by iGRF - 27 Mar 21 at 2:01pm
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Rupert Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27 Mar 21 at 2:24pm
Addressing the lack of diversity and inclusion isn't misguided, and doesn't preclude and of the 3 "big ones". In fact, it is closely related to Elitist, surely.

Whether the sport/pastime is shrinking or not, it has a lot to offer anybody, whatever their background or personal situation. Looking at ways in which we can achieve this doesn't seem odd in any way to me.
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423zero View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote 423zero Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27 Mar 21 at 4:15pm
Elitist and accessibility are easy to address, free membership for new members, free club boats for new members (first year).
Too difficult is the clincher, I haven't got a answer, needs the training bods to sort this out.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote iGRF Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27 Mar 21 at 4:33pm
Originally posted by Rupert

Addressing the lack of diversity and inclusion isn't misguided, .


Not my point, the point is surely these days, nobody gets turned away, so it's misguided to think otherwise.

The following is imv what should be going on, as a Governing Body of watersports it would be wise to ascertain how many folk can swim, how many are being taught, what the swimming governing bodys are doing, if they are in any way similar to ours, they'll be as focussed on medals and leaving their also rans in much the same way sailing leaves theirs to wither on the vine.

Questions should be asked of swimmers, In their swimming careers did they ever overcome fear of open water for instance, is there actually a link between bone density alleged in certain ethnc groups impacting swimming ability is it fact or fiction?

Then water safety should be addressed in all schools everywhere and learning to swim would be a darn site more useful to kids than education in the art of religious blasphemy.

Did you even notice a question on the recent farce of a census, can you swim? They're more concerned about your sexual orientation and gender switching than a basic survival skill like swimming, says a lot about society.

Edited by iGRF - 27 Mar 21 at 4:45pm
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Sam.Spoons Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27 Mar 21 at 6:00pm
All good points and ones I agree with iGRF. 

WRT dinghy sailing being elitist, IMHO nothing could be further from the truth*, the problem is that, to a large percentage of the non-sailing population, dinghy sailing is elitist. 

* Club membership is not expensive at most grass roots clubs, most have boats that can be borrowed by members and serviceable old boats can be bought for little more than a tank of fuel (and much less than the cost of a new iPhone).


Edited by Sam.Spoons - 27 Mar 21 at 6:02pm
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Paramedic Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27 Mar 21 at 10:16pm
Originally posted by Rupert

Addressing the lack of diversity and inclusion isn't misguided

The thing is what actually is it they we are supposed to do?

Short of abducting people off the street, sticking them in a boat and sailing them round for an hour I cant really see what we can do. The open days that we did seemed to me to be very forced and almost patronising. I'm absolutely 100% certain that they were done with the best of intentions but what did we achieve other than ticking a box? Nothing.

This is why I don't like positive discrimination used in this manner (Or actually at all).

Now the youth and junior system at the club with no pushing whatsoever is very diverse, but for some reason this hasn't been (I need to stop using present tense as things are obviously very different to how they were 12 months ago) seen as good enough either. Maybe we need to do a better job of pushing that it happens?


Edited by Paramedic - 27 Mar 21 at 10:22pm
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Paramedic Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27 Mar 21 at 10:21pm
Originally posted by 423zero

My club would welcome ideas on how we can encourage people to sail, ANY people, our membership is in decline year on year.

At the moment it's a case of getting through this crisis and back to where you were before it started.

If you can get close to that you have something to build from. 

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Post Options Post Options   Quote Sussex Lad Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28 Mar 21 at 10:18am
Elitism is impossible to eliminate from a competitive sports club. Any sport where participants are either winners or losers is elitist by definition and will attract folk who have a need to prove they are better than others. The same people are more likely to go on to run the operation It's in the nature of all competitive sport......I'm quite competitive myself so not excluding myself although I'll never be allowed anywhere near a committee room.;-)

This isn't a dig, it's a fact.

All that can be done is to eliminate the elitism in other areas of the institution. Try to eliminate it in how the club is run, how the RYA is run etc. (A tall order IMO and sadly undoable)

EDIT for clarity: I'm talking about perceptions in this para and not necessarily the reality:
The name "Royal Yachting Association" smacks of elitism. I would guess most ethnic minorities would view this as a White Elitist organisation. Following the interview with Megan I would likely include the word racist (not necessarily my perception but likely to be the perception of minorities now). The hierarchy in most clubs smacks of the old days of white imperialism, titles like Commodores, Rear Commodores, Bosun etc.

Most in the sport of sailing are not ready for these kinds of considerations. Being white middle class I can cope with it but if the sport wants to be more diverse, it's the perceptions of the wider, more diverse population that have to be  considered. Image is everything.

It would be nice to leave the elitism for the races, try and reduce it everywhere else but that ain't going to happen IMO



Edited by Sussex Lad - 28 Mar 21 at 10:58am
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Post Options Post Options   Quote iGRF Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28 Mar 21 at 10:57am
The thing is, it's a grown up person with a few responsibilitys, or their kids sort of sport, hell I didn't even consider it until I was sixty and in our household, the four daughters of darkness have dated every kind of ethnic types that are available down the years and I've tried to teach all of them the path of true righteousness mostly to no avail, save one who took up kitesurfing before he moved back home to Oman and now offers cruisng catamaran trips to tourists.

I've got a future father of my grandkids, he's a fishbotherer/golfer, I'm even considering going back to a double hander to try and get him on board, but it's not even remotely on his radar, you can see, he's being polite, "yes love to" he says, whist inwardly groaning at what he's having to do to plcate the father inlaw.

The other one is a German based power trader, the time I took him out in the club Vision with my thirds boyfriend of the moment, they both put their wetsuits on back to front, then demonstrated how they can't even change the wheel on my van later that night, they're snowflakes, all of them, it's nothing to do with diversity something in the way they've been exposed to life has changed and they don't seem to crave the same sense or need for actual adventure rather than the onscreen version, we did.

Our best bet to attract new members is to appeal to those of our age and demographic that haven't tried sailboat racing. Mature Empty nesters, they've got the cash,and the time, it just needs a bit of marketing to get them to give it a try. Sell it as three dimensional chess that would change their lives. Hold a six week course, better still sell them a course which includes a boat in the price then they're committed.

Edited by iGRF - 28 Mar 21 at 3:39pm
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