The Queen City Disabled Sailing Club is a not for profit charitable organization that works out of Wascana Lake, and is available to people of varying ages and broad range of disabilities. It gives them an opportunity to experience and participate recreationally, or to train for competitive sailing. Participation in the club is not only about sailing, but also beneficial for many other aspects of a person’s wellness. Participation increases one’s social, psychological, quality of life, self-confidence, skill development, and a bit of fun are all possibilities.
Sailing is unique.
Sailing is the ideal recreational opportunity for people with disabilities because of the equalizing factors of water and technology. For people with disabilities, the sense of freedom and independence associated with sailing is unrivalled. For many, participation in outdoor activities is limited to being a spectator. The freedom and independence associated with sailing has been unattainable for individuals with disabilities – until recently. Sailing combines the physical thrill of moving on the water with the mental challenge of proper navigation. It challenges the whole person.
Sailing is inclusive.
With sailing, no one is left on the sidelines. Most non-sailors, even those who have never set foot on a boat, enjoy a good sail. Each individual can determine just how much, or how little, they want to be involved in the program, from competitive sport to social opportunities. No one is left out due to the impact of their disability.
Sailing builds confidence and self esteem.
Nothing makes a person feel good like having a good adventure or mastering a new skill. Helping to rig the boat, trimming the jib sheet, or taking on a leadership role in the group can build self-esteem. Empowerment from gaining skills and a sense of control while steering and maneuvering the boat creates a tremendous feeling of accomplishment, overcoming fears and recognizing personal potential.
Sailing builds teamwork and collaboration.
Members are encouraged to actively participate in all aspects of the program to the best of their ability. This participation includes helping to organize sailing sessions, providing mentorship to new members, helping as dock crew, caring for equipment, fund development and governance. The cooperative environment that is needed for the success of the program teaches valuable lessons in leadership, teamwork and trust.