Monte Real studies the benefits of sailing to treat serious behavior problems


· The Baionese club carried out a pilot navigation test with a group of students from the Panxón (Nigrán) Special Education Center with serious behavioral problems

· The objective of the initiative was to verify how going out sailing can benefit children who have not managed to adapt to traditional education in a very positive way

· The balance of the activity has encouraged the club to seek support to promote a specific program of outings to the sea that allows preventing and treating these disorders

The bay of Baiona with the Parador Nacional in the background was the setting for the activity with the kids from the CEE Panxón – Photo © Rosana Calvo

There are currently in Galicia, enrolled in different centers throughout the community, about 8,500 children with behavioral or personality problems, attention deficit or hyperactivity (ADHD). Most of them, 90 percent, are children diagnosed with ADHD, and the remaining 10 percent, according to recent data from the Xunta de Galicia, are affected by serious behavioral disorders.

It is thus called a set of behaviors that imply a persistent opposition to authority figures and social norms, an attitude that leads to serious problems of coexistence with parents, teachers, classmates and, in general, with a large number of people. If they arise in isolation, they do not usually generate too many incidents, but the problem is when these behaviors are maintained over time, intensify with age or lead to aggressive behavior, school absenteeism, drug use or theft.

In the prevention and treatment of these disorders, sport has always been considered a very important factor, since it allows reinforcing positive behaviors and suppressing bad habits. And it is in this field, and more specifically in that of nautical sports, that the Monte Real Club de Yates de Baiona has begun to work.

After years of working hand in hand with associations of people with functional diversity through its Adapted Sailing School and thanks to the support of administrations such as the Xunta de Galicia, institutions such as Fundación Repsol and companies such as ABANCA, Monte Real now assumes a new challenge, that of helping people with serious behavioral disorders. And the first step it has taken on this path has been to carry out a pilot test of an exit to the sea with a group of students from the Panxón Center for Special Education (Nigrán).

Group of students from the Panxón (Nigrán) Special Education Center who participated in the Monte Real pilot test – Photo © Rosana Calvo

Led by two coaches from the club’s Sailing School, eight students between the ages of 10 and 17 from the Panxón CEE, accompanied by several of their teachers, got on a pneumatic motorboat to explore the Bay of Baiona and participate in several educational activities at points such as the San Xoán beacon, the La Porta channel or the Serralleiras islets.

For several hours, the group of Panxón students were able to discover how to sail in Baiona – Photo © Rosana Calvo

They used nautical charts, allied compasses, mooring grapples, lead lines, ropes and other nautical elements; They sailed through the bay, recognized the Val Miñor from the sea, visited the facilities of Monte Real and reacted in a very positive and proactive way to the scheduled dynamics.

The activity was led by two coaches from the MRCYB Sailing School and controlled by educators from the Panxón CEE – Photo © Rosana Calvo

The benefit of the activity was reflected in the subsequent evaluation of coaches and teachers, who showed their satisfaction with the development of the activity and a clear interest in continuing the pilot test with a more extensive outing program.

And it is precisely on this project that Monte Real is now working, which will try to obtain support in order to extend the proposal and involve the largest possible number of centers of this type in it. What the club is looking for is that the nautical sport, and more specifically the sport of sailing, helps to educate, strengthen, offer new resources and tools to people with serious behavioral problems.

A pneumatic motor from Monte Real was the medium chosen for the pilot test with the students of the CEE Panxón – Photo © Rosana Calvo

The development of emotional intelligence and resilience, the improvement of interpersonal and intrapersonal communication, the acquisition of skills in planning and responsibility, the increase in decision-making capacity and motivation, the exchange of positive experiences through coexistence or teamwork are some of the benefits that sailing can offer this type of person.