BC Mainland Division



August 5th 2021
Introducing CPO2 Jacob Laser, 63 Kalamalka, - Vernon Branch after a life changing event, he found a new life at NOSA (North Okanagan Sailing Association)
Facebook: @vernonsailing

What inspired you to volunteer with this organization?

In 2018 I had a concussion that prevented me from attending Inter-Sail at HMCS Quadra and engaging in normal day to day functions, so I contacted the local sailing club that I received my CanSail 2 at, and started volunteering full time. I spent the entire summer helping the coaches and spending time on the water. They helped me get my coaching prerequisites and I now coach full time for them.

What roles have you played within this organization?

 I have been a student, a volunteer, and an instructor at NOSA. Each one leading to the next. The more I did, the more I loved what I did.

Why do you continue to volunteer with this organization?

I volunteered full-time at the sailing club for a season, then started full time on their staff. Although I still like to do the little extra things to help improve what I do. I jump at any opportunity to show the community what we do, whether it's through breakfasts or just talking with people about my line of work.

What is your favourite memory volunteering with this organization?

I once had a beginners CanSail 1/2 class where the wind started picking up to the point where the more advanced CanSail 3 class was capsizing. But out of the corner of my eye I spot a Club 420 dinghy coming down the lake. I look over and as the boat passes by in front of me I see two small kids ripping past everyone. The crew was keeping the boat upright while the skipper had the tiller-extension tucked under his leg with the mainsheet cleated and a bag of ketchup chips in his lap that he was snacking on. The sight of a couple of young, new sailors snacking on chips and rocketing over the bounding waves was a sight to behold. A few seasons later, that skipper ended up getting his CanSail 4, and is now looking at getting his instructor certifications.

What does this organization do to impact or improve your community?

NOSA regularly teaches a couple hundred students a season. The students we teach come from a variety of backgrounds, some have never met before, some come with schools, cadets, scouts, organizations, or family. The majority of whom are around the age of 12. I'd like to think that I'm guiding them on an adventure that not every kid can get. Where they are entrusted with our training boats and given a chance to be responsible while having fun and learning a new "old skill".

What else do you want us to know?

I don't know what I would have done without NOSA. After my concussion I was very limited in the activities that I could do. But NOSA gave me a chance to get back out and do physical activity to help heal. They have been very helpful in restarting my life with post-concussion syndrome. Working at the North Okanagan Sailing Association has been an awesome experience. I would highly suggest working at a non-profit for your first job.

CPO2 Laser, Jacob
"Long may your big jib draw"

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