Sailing as therapy

The main objective of those involved in sailing as therapy is to restore dignity to the person degraded by physical or psychological illness, by drug abuse or deliquency, by social disability.

“On the sea, it is you and the wind, you and the sky, you and the sun. It is you who decides the route, the navigating pace, you who fills the sails with wind and you who performs the maneuvers, you and your crew. On board we experiment in the group spirit, we acquire a role and are conscious that we are necessary. We must relate with one another without escaping, with different personalities and in this way we learn to take into consideration and to respect the reasoning of others.
We confront anxieties and fears that each one of us carries inside, but for the people afflicted, these are exaggerated by the illness. During navigation the whole body and all its intellectual faculties are involved: a unique and highly stimulating experience especially for those forced to live in psychiatric institutions or long hospital stays, where physical and social activity are very limited. During the outings and the organized cruises for the mentally or psycho-physically disabled the main objectiveis to improve self esteem through the awareness, in certain situations, with respect to one’s own limits, to be able to be autonomous and able to make decisions, but overall there is the strong will to plant the seed of awareness of being an indispensible part of the crew. On board everyone (regardless of the role occupied) is important for navigation and everyone can preciously contribute to the sailing of the boat.
To offer a different possibility, or at least to try to offer to those who live an isolated and disadvantaged reality – also here the sea is our greatest ally!””
Each year we develop Sailing as Therapy activities with the Rome Montesanto Day Center (Centro Diurno Montesanto di Roma) ( USL Roma E) and the Social Cooperative Adelphia of Alessano (Soc.Coop. Sociale L’Adelfia di Alessano).

School Projects
The sailboat is metaphorical for traveling by sea,; as well as journey, conflict, meaning, values, discovery, cohabitation, study, physical activity, sport, total institutions, work, escape, competition, collaboration and aboveall, search for self and integration. It is rich in historical, literary, poetic, practical and sportive beauty, all which render it a learning instrument, useful for developing flexibility and adaptability even in situations that may seem far from one’s own reality, i.e. the sea.
Sailing is a complete sport, is in contact with nature, in simbiosis with and has great respect for the environment. A sport of values and immense spaces, a discipline with exceptional educational, instructional and psycho-physical characteristics.
During the course the kids involved will have to assume various roles and responsibilities, working mainly in a group to acquire a better and more complete competence and sensibility in facing relational and communicative dimensions in collaboration and cohabitation of space. They also develop reciprocal acceptance, assumption of individual responsibility and finalization in problem solving.
By way of the boat as an instrument, the kids are stimulated to relate more intimately with the environment that surrounds them; first of all the internal one, the self, and secondly the external one (the surrounding space).
The encounter and the shared experience with the rest of the crew becomes an opportunity for comparison, growth and enrichment.
The classroom becomes the boat, an environment in which we live, divide up and share; the crew learns to be conscious of its own and each others’ limits which generate awareness, the indispensable assumption of acceptance, recognition of roles, and the concept of responsibility. Everyone’s participation imposes a sharing of objectives, daily procedures, choices, delegation, and the necessary respect of each other , all of which are given and demanded through the acceptance of the importance of each crew member’s role.

“ My rights are your obligations, and viceversa.”

One of our projects:

“We share and distribute the principles of the “European Manifest of the Sailing Solidarity”.