Sailing Delegation Returns from International North American Championship
Sailing, it is not a sport that would normally make it in our weekly Sports Monday report, but the sport is readily becoming an attraction. A delegation consisting of four young sailors recently returned to Belize after representing the Jewel at an international meet in Antigua, Guatemala. Between the ages of seven and fifteen, they participated in the International North American Championship, which is one step down from the World Champions in Sailing. While the group did not place in the competition, Chairman of the Belize Sailing Association, Sharon Hardwick says that several sailing clubs are coming on board and parents, as well as the youth, are getting more involved in the sport.
Sharon Hardwick, Chairman, Belize Sailing Association
“We took four children, two girls and two boys, the coach, myself and Forest, the Public Relations officer. This is a large step for the Belize Sailing Association. The experience for the children is a life experience. They have sailed amongst a hundred and sixty-two other sailors from twenty-two countries. Of course there were a lot of nerves getting into the water with so many boats; so there was a lot of pep talk. But in the end, we walked away with beautiful memories and experience that we now know we must endeavor to continue sailing at an international level in Belize. We have a club in Corozal, we have two in San Pedro, we have Caye Caulker, we have Placencia; we have Manatee coming on board, we have Dangriga coming on board, we have PG coming on board; we have the Belize Sea Scout, we have Belize Sailing Club here in the city. So don’t be bashful. Reach out to us, come, bring your child and let them come and experience sailing and you too will get involve if you see your child getting involved if you see your child get involved. It starts with you getting involved and bringing your child. Sailing, most people like to say sailing is a boring sport. And really I can say as a sailing mom, when you get involved and you see your child in that little dingy sailing and you are cheering that child on, how could that be boring to see your child learn how to read that wind and can sail and compete—not just sail, but compete to win a race—it is a beautiful thing. And I encourage Belize to get involved, participate. If you do not want to sail, get involved, sponsor us. There are so many children who would like to sail really and so I would encourage corporate Belize to sponsor a dingy, sponsor us to go international because as it is, going to Antigua has cost us about twenty thousand Belize dollars. We have another international regatta coming up in November in Cancun from Puerto Aventura. That we know we are going to attend; last year, we attended that and the waters were fierce as the one in Antigua and our children did well. Out of one hundred and sixty-two sailors, we had a sailor Trent Hardwick that did ninety-eight. Kevin Velasquez did a hundred and one; Jasmine and Nazira were in bronze—one was a hundred and thirty-six, the other was a hundred and fifty—that is excellent. We didn’t come in last; we have potential; our children are just new to this so we need to venture into new stuff.”
The association was formed five years ago, back in 2010.