November 25, 2016 – Simpson Bay, St Maarten – Dozens of students from the Milton Peters College have attended recent orientations, organized by MPC and the Kidz At Sea Foundation, to get introduced to the sport of sailing. A new sailing season has kicked off and with that, Kidz At Sea’s recruitment of students for its Sailing Program and the Build Your Future Project. With the start of the new school year the Boat Building Program commenced and the Sailing Program has been signing up students that were keen after attending the recent orientations. Last Sunday these students participated in the first Keelboat Race of the season with 2 boats.
The partnership between the Milton Peters College and the Kidz At Sea Foundation will be taken to the next level after last year’s successes in the Sailing Program and the completion of the sailboat Purple Heart, a Didi 26 sloop design racing boat, the first of its kind ever built in the Caribbean by students, teachers and volunteers without any previous boatbuilding experience.
This year an even larger group of students has enrolled in the boat building project, twice as many compared to last year. In this program, emphasis will be placed on addressing more aspects of the marine industry, including visits to relevant businesses and going sailing more often to experience the joy of this sport. Intensifying this program will provide the students with a clearer overview of jobs available in the Marine Industry and a better understanding of the required skill set.
The Sailing Program will place more focus on teaching the students valuable skills that will prepare them for their future. “In previous years the goal was to train for the St. Maarten Heineken Regatta, after which students received a certificate. This year we want to look beyond that and get students excited about continuous sailing and racing and adapting it as a sport they love. This will include classroom sessions and practicing in smaller groups to teach more comprehensive boat handling skills individually. To add to the experience, we have included knowledgeable youth sailors that will act as mentors, in addition to the sailing instructors who have been involved in the previous years. The interaction with experienced peers will have a beneficial effect on the motivation of the students involved.” said Garth Steyn, founder of the Kidz At Sea Foundation.
During the summer months Kidz At Sea started cooperating with the Ujima Foundation. These youths will remain part of the program and currently organizers are reviewing how to implement this in the schedule. The Kidz at Sea Foundation is looking forward to signing up a group of approximately 40-50 students to participate in both its programs.
The Kidz at Sea Foundation was founded in 2012 as an initiative to introduce the St Maarten youth to all prospects of the Marine Industry by means of boat building and sailing. Furthermore the two programs will teach the students specific industry related skills and encourage personal development, giving them an advantage when applying for a job. Kidz at Sea is not-for-profit and could not be successful without all of its sponsors and supporters.