Inclusivity in sport, including sailing, is becoming an evermore important topic. Members at VsaW celebrate inclusive activities and the many benefits they offer.
Two Verein Seglerhaus am Wannsee (VsaW) “azudents“ (apprentice/students), Celine Reissmann and Lea Rebecca Metz-Sievert, highlight the importance of inclusivity in sport: “for us, inclusion is the effort to enable equal participation and involvement of people with and without disabilities in and through sport.”
According to the National Paralympic Committee Germany (Deutscher Behindertensportverband), 46% of people with disabilities in Germany do not participate in sports. A significant reason for this is the lack of knowledge about the many sporting opportunities that are available for persons with disabilities in Germany.
Sports are more important for people with disabilities than many think. In her master’s thesis on inclusivity in sailing, Elke Paatz found that inclusive sport has positive effects on three levels, for those who do and do not have disabilities.
Physically, activity improves body awareness, muscle strength and sense of balance.
On the psychological level, increased self-confidence and better mood were found to be valuable effects of inclusive training. These effects contribute to a more positive body image and sense of self.
Finally, there was a profound social effect noted primarily among individuals who had little previous contact with people with disabilities, including a reduction in prejudices and improved recognition and respect. It was also reported that through joint sports, teammates were better able to assess and understand situations when people with disabilities need or want help and when they do not.
Members of the VsaW feel compelled to promote this valuable message. With an open attitude, each individual at VsaW supports all athletes—whether living with or without disabilities—in having the opportunity to experience the positive effects of inclusive sport activities.