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Old 07-02-2012
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Re: The future of the sailing world. Why are there so few young people cruising??

This is not only a sailing issue. All outdoor sports are seeing a steady decline in youth participation numbers. I am new to sailing, but I am a fly fishing guide/Instructor and also teach hunter education for my state. The outdoor sports industries have been trying to come up with solutions for years…I see it in fly fishing a lot…Everyone is getting older and there just isnt the influx of young people… I don’t know the exact reasons but some of the common issues that are debated are single parent homes, overworked parents with little free time, overscheduled sports, wider variety of sports and activities available…I have organized quite a few kids fishing birthday parties over the last 5 years and it amazes me how many of the kids fathers have never fished… or have never shot a gun, let alone hunt for their own food…But there are other sports (golf, snowboarding,etc..) that are seeing steady growth in the younger demographic…Maybe it is the way the sports are marketed or just social changes…My oldest son is 6 years old..He plays soccer, baseball, archery, fishes, karate and starts cub scouts in the fall…As a family our schedule is full and finding family time to do anything is difficult with our overscheduled lives but I still push the natural world and one of the reasons that I am learning to sail is to ensure that my boys will have a well rounded education in the outdoors... I did not come from money and my parents always struggled to make ends meet but we had a small farm and always had food…I worked my way through college and expanded my outdoor education to scuba, rock climbing/mountaineering, skiing, boating…If it had to do with the outdoors, I wanted to learn and do….Maybe I wasn’t excellent at any one sport but I was good at many…Today everyone wants to excel at one thing..To be specialized instead of well rounded in many different areas… I don’t have an answer and there may not be an answer to the issues but if someone wants to learn to sail, there are so many ways to learn without a big layout of money…
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