Sailing has the unique ability to enrich the lives of individuals with disabilities, providing them with empowerment, motivation, and an enhanced quality of life that few other activities can offer.
Disabled sailing programs are designed to support people with physical disabilities by giving them the opportunity to engage in the sport of sailing.
The CANSail program is built on the principles of long-term athlete development and is structured as a series of progressive learning standards for sailing. These standards are aimed at giving sailors a strong foundation in core skills, enabling them to learn and advance in various types of boats.
The program focuses on developing fundamental skills and building significant experiences before introducing more complex skills.
Moreover, the CANSail Para program includes specific checklists and rubrics that offer additional guidance and adaptations to assist in training and assessing sailors with disabilities. These resources help ensure that sailors with disabilities receive the necessary support and evaluation to develop their skills effectively and enjoy the benefits of sailing.
The CANSail Para program is structured to accommodate individuals with disabilities and provide them with a progressive learning experience in sailing. This program aligns with the Long Term Sailor Development Framework and is divided into the following levels:
- CANSail Para 1 – This level offers an introduction to sailing, teaching fundamental skills such as sheeting, steering, and basic boat handling on various points of sail. It falls under the ‘Fundamental’ stage of the Long Term Sailor Development Framework.
- CANSail Para 2 – Building on the basics introduced in CANSail 1, sailors learn to use steering and weight to change direction and adapt to changes in wind speed while sailing. It is also part of the ‘Fundamental’ stage.
- CANSail Para 3 – Sailors at this level integrate their fundamental boat handling skills with applied sail trim, basic tactics, and strategy. They may participate in a club race or training camp, and this program falls under the ‘Learn to Sail Fast’ stage.
- CANSail Para 4 – This level teaches sailors to perform advanced boat handling maneuvers in various conditions. They refine their fundamental skills and can execute maneuvers under higher pressure settings, both for tactical and strategic purposes.
- CANSail Para 5 – The focus here is on fully integrating boat handling skills with tactics and strategy. Sailors work on performance and skill refinement while also exploring rig tuning in relation to boat trim for different conditions.
- CANSail Para 6 – In this advanced level, sailors further integrate boat handling, sail trim, and rig setup with racing. They train to perform skills in competitive race settings across various conditions and participate in regional or provincial regattas.
The CANSail Para program aims to provide individuals with disabilities the opportunity to progress and excel in sailing while following a structured and inclusive curriculum.