Hannah Mills and Ben Ainsley, the most successful British Olympic sailors ever, have announced the formation of the Athena Route Programme, a new sailor and youth course aimed at equalizing opportunities in high performance sailing frustration and bringing diversity to professionals. Sport, with sustainability built into it. Speaking about the launch event at the Royal Yachting Squadron during Cowes Week, one of the world’s oldest regattas, Hannah Mills revealed her vision for the future of high-performance sailing:
“Sailing has made great strides in the field of gender equality in recent decades, led by the Olympic side of the sport where gender equality has been achieved on water, but the professional side, particularly in high performance sailing, is far behind where it needs to be.
“We, as a sport, are uniquely positioned to lead massive global change when it comes to gender equality. There are no significant barriers in high-performance sailing to material entry, and through the Athens Path we will create a gender equality path for all, with sustainability at the center.”
“I am so excited to be partnering with Ben on this project to transform the professional sailing landscape in the UK. The girls are already coming to me excited about the potential opportunities at the America’s Cup, SailGP and beyond as they get older which is amazing. Likewise, however, the ripple effect that This could happen in terms of growth within our sport as more women see that job opportunities in the maritime sector can be huge.”
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