Ms. Paatz, how does the DSV help clubs or individuals to implement inclusive sailing opportunities?
Elke Paatz: We offer an array of information and assistance that is constantly growing and evolving. Our website www.dsv.org/inklusion delivers general information and highlights best practices from our member clubs, showing how inclusion in the sport of sailing can be implemented successfully. We already have a flyer but are also working on a comprehensive handbook for DSV member clubs. Our database of clubs that offer inclusive options also enables club representatives to network with other clubs. We also offer various seminars on inclusive sailing and are working on a concept that integrates inclusion in training education programs. Clubs can also contact us by phone, e-mail or at trade fairs to ask questions and receive answers about their specific inclusive sailing concerns.
Individuals can likewise contact the DSV if they have questions about inclusive sailing. Our club database is an important tool, allowing them to search for clubs with inclusive opportunities in their area.
Our exhibit at this year's REHACARE targets both individuals and clubs. We will provide information on the inclusion potential of sailing. At the Boot Düsseldorf 2023, we will host the first “Inclusive Sailing Day” where club representatives, experts, and sailors will get together. There will also be multiple workshops and a panel discussion.
What has the feedback been to your service?
Paatz: We have seen increased demand from clubs as more and more want to offer inclusive sailing opportunities. We conducted a survey that indicated 50 percent of the surveyed clubs had created inclusive opportunities in the last five years, showing the concept is really gaining momentum.
The feedback from individuals could be greater. Our survey has also shown that most clubs could give even more people with disabilities access to adaptive sailing. But unfortunately, the target audience is often unaware of these options because they assume their disability stops them from sailing. That's why we think it's so important to be a part of REHACARE 2022 and show that sailing is also possible when you have a disability. We have to meet people where they are and approach them more frequently in schools, workshops, and daycare facilities.