Developed by Australian Sailing in 2018, SailPass is a low-cost alternate membership model for people who want to give sailing a go. New participants can register directly online for SailPass sessions at little to no-cost.

Since receiving VicHealth funding in July 2018, over 600 participants from six pilot clubs have used SailPass. Over half of those involved were inactive prior to the program. The current Australian Physical Activity and Sedentary Behaviour Guidelines emphasise the importance of moving more, and VicHealth has a strategic focus on using social sport, active recreation and play to encourage less active people to be more active.

With six months remaining in the pilot program, and a public launch still to come, participant numbers are expected to continue to grow.


Key Learnings

  • Innovation can create new opportunities
  • The traditional membership model isn’t for everyone
  • Trialling different program formats can create a more targeted program
  • Encouraging existing members to assist referring non-members


What are SailPass’s benefits?

Typically, sailing is a sport where memberships matter. These memberships are often pricey and can act as a barrier for individuals who are interested in trying sailing casually. SailPass offers a no-strings attached way to give the sport a go.

It’s easy to find a club near you; the club finder tool provides a directory of participating SailPass clubs.

SailPass is helping Australian Sailing reach audiences that wouldn’t usually consider trying sailing. The fun, safe and affordable program has been designed with the non-sailing participant in mind. No sailing experience is necessary, and all equipment is provided.


Why is SailPass successful?

Australian Sailing trialled different program offerings including evening sails, a 4-day SailPass, sail days and a 6-week program for women. This provided a wide range of feedback about what worked, what didn’t, and what received the most positive response. This information was shared with new clubs signing up to the program and has supported its expansion.

A wide range of channels were used to promote the program to specific communities, including social media and community centre newsletters. A combination of videos and posters were created to convey the experience of sailing. SailPass was also advertised at libraries and local cafes near participating sailing clubs.

The program opens up the sport to non-sailors. Using members to attract non-members has been valuable. The Mornington Yacht Club is one club that created a system where SailPass participants were paired with existing members. When new participants form interactions with existing members, it creates positive social interaction and a sense of belonging.

Visit the SailPass website

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