WHILE HAVING A FASCINATING CONVERSATION with Alana O’Reilly, it was easy to understand her passion for the Sarasota Youth Sailing Organization. She offered the following information about this non profit organization. Sarasota Youth Sailing started as a learn to sail program then advanced to a racing program.
Fun is the first item the kids learn whether it be young “Tadpoles” to independent sailors; from the kids starting with one sail then two and eventually graduating up to three sails. The beginners learn teamwork while working two to a sailboat ages 15 and under. The “Laser” group is a single person physically demanding vessel – teaching confidence and independence. The “420s” are a three sail team – there is no I in this group. Teamwork and trust are the we in this unit of sailors.
Sailing can be an expensive sport and the Sarasota Youth Organization are very appreciative of the grant from the Buzzelli Organization. With their help the racing sailors stay local as well as traveling to South America, Spain and across the United States.
The summer program enrolled 350 children for 10 weeks starting at age 5. They were divided up into two groups. Beginners, learn how to sail with two kids to a boat. The advanced group learn how to race. Many of these children stay with a program into the school year.
No matter which level of the organization, a child is embracing many benefits besides learning how to sail. Life values at no age limit. For more information, log onto www.sarasotayouthsailing.org. – Donna Fishburn