Support4Sport

I believe the Support4Sport program is really the best thing to happen to sport in Nova Scotia in a very long time

Ken Bagnell, President
Canadian Sport Centre Atlantic

Kate Muir

Kate
Muir
Out on the Mira
Kate Muir
Community Program

There’s more to coastal communities than saltwater and seafood. In fact, it’s the community spirit in Albert Bridge, Cape Breton that has given local youth a challenging pastime that has them sailing right to the podium.

Kate Muir is the director of the Mira Boat Club Sailing Program, a program dedicated to introducing the sport of sailing to young people, many of whom are showing big potential.

“Often youth in rural areas don’t have the same opportunities as they would in an urban centre,” said Muir who first established the youth programming in 2008. “We’re on one of Nova Scotia’s longest rivers and it’s wonderful to offer programs to youth in a rural community.”

The program begins with Canadian Yachting Association White Sail learn-to-sail classes and continues into progressive coaching to keep participants challenged and engaged. And the young sailors are certainly getting the hang of it! Kate and her two coaches recently encouraged 10 participants to travel to Baddeck to compete in the Bras d’Or Yacht Club’s 2010 Regatta Week, five of whom returned with medals despite being new to the sport and it being their first competition.

Podiums aside, the Mira Boat Club is making waves with parents, instructors and club members alike as the entire community gets in on the excitement of seeing young people find a new favourite sport and pastime.

“Having the sailing program really adds to the community, and I definitely think the community benefits from seeing sails on the river,” said Adrian Wilson whose daughter participates in the club’s White Sail program. “The kids learn tons of new skills but it is in a really encouraging, supportive atmosphere.”

Adrian's daughter has been one of the club’s young sailors for the past two years and just recently attended her first regatta this summer. Her excitement and passion for the sport has proven contagious – her dad has since become a participant in the weekly adult recreational sailing program that launched after parents saw just how much fun their kids were having.

“She was learning a huge amount and enjoying it so I jumped at the chance to learn to sail myself," says Adrian. "I really enjoy the challenge of learning and developing new skills and a new language. It’s just plain fun.”

Max Page is one of the Mira Boat Club’s instructors, employed specifically thanks to the new demand created by the youth programming for experienced coaches. Thrilled with the opportunity to share sailing with a wider audience, he’s quick to note the importance of proper funding in giving the community the opportunity to get involved in sailing as a sport.

“I’ve been sailing for over 10 years. It’s my job, my hobby, and it’s my lifestyle,” said Max who came to Albert Bridge from Bedford, Nova Scotia specifically for the summer sailing program. “To be the best sailor and to compete at higher levels, you have to be able to afford the right equipment, the travel requirements, and great coaching. Our Learn to Sail program wouldn’t be possible without the funding we have so generously been provided.”

Thanks to the funding offered by the Support4Sport program, Kate Muir was able to jumpstart her dream of bringing more young people into the world she loves so much. Without the dollars, the now thriving program simply could not have become reality.

“When I received funding, it actually allowed us to start the program,” said Kate. “Without the funding it would have been nearly impossible to get things up and running.”

The benefit of the revived interest in sailing at the Mira Boat Club is far-reaching. From the kids and parents becoming involved in the sport, to the club members who are thrilled to see the facility filled with energy and excitement, this is one case that shows how a little support can invigorate an entire community.

Location

Albert Bridge, NS
Canada
46° 0' 54.0216" N, 60° 3' 56.4804" W

Location

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