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Making sailing inclusive

Published 12:26 on 19 Mar 2021

21st March 2021 is the United Nations International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, and aims to encourage communities to adopt a global culture of tolerance, equality, and anti-discrimination. Sailing may once have been seen as an elitist sport, but there are now so many routes available to help anyone interested in sailing to learn the ropes. Earlier this month, the Royal Yachting Association (RYA) launched its own Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Strategy to help maximise the opportunities for everyone to get on the water.

The Strategy builds on the RYA's strong foundation of promoting equality, diversity, and inclusion in all forms of boating, and cements the sport's commitment to developing a culture that celebrates diversity, and is free from discrimination and prejudice. It places an initial focus on ethnicity in boating, and has been developed with input from an Ethnicity in Boating Forum, comprised of individuals from diverse backgrounds who have made their way in the sport.

Through the Strategy's four underpinning objectives: to change perceptions, behaviours, experiences, and reality, the RYA aim to bring greater equality and inclusivity across the whole recreational boating community.

RYA Chief Executive, Sarah Treseder, said: "We joined other voices from the world of sport last summer to speak out against racism, and in doing so we recognised that more needed to be done to ensure that boating was as inclusive and diverse as we would like it to be. The Strategy that we are launching will enable us to deliver on that commitment: recreational boating and competitive sailing that is accessible and inclusive to allto demonstrate that a person's sex, age, ethnicity, disability, sexual orientation or religion should never be a barrier to participation in boating."

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