September 9, 2022 – Simpson Bay, Sint Maarten

After a great sailing season for the Sint Maarten Yacht Club from September ’21 till June ’22, including the ‘After School Sailing Program’ and 2 schools participating in the ‘Primary School Sailing Program’, the Sint Maarten Yacht Club restarted their program this week, after the summer break.

The Sint Maarten Yacht Club Sailing School has been able to organize the opportunity for 5 different schools/groups to join the ‘Primary School Sailing Program’ this upcoming season, which will include 48 children in the age from 10 till 16 years old.

With help from funding from the World Trust Fund, organized by R4CR, not only the ‘Sister Regina Primary School’ and ‘Seventh Day Adventist School’ are sailing for another season, but the ‘All Children Educated Foundation’, the ‘Leonard Connor School’ and the ‘Youth Brigade’ has been invited to join the program this year.

A selected group of students from these schools receive sailing lessons on a weekly basis for the entire season at no cost. This week the sailors enjoyed their first sailing classes!

“We are very proud that we can grow and expand this great program, with the support from R4CR, the World Bank and donations from the private sector. The more Sint Maarten Youth we can introduce to sailing, the better!” Said Saskia Revelman, Sailing School Manager at the Sint Maarten Yacht Club.

To be able to attend the Sailing Classes the participants should be able to swim and feel comfortable around the water. Besides the fact that all sailors are wearing lifejackets, there is a certain level of swimming required to assure safety regulations.

Last season the Sint Maarten Yacht Club kicked off the ‘Swim 2 Sail’ program where children that needs to develop their swimming level are offered swimming classes on a weekly basis. For this season we are collaborating with Mr. Busby as swimming teacher again. The swimming teacher will take the children to Kim Sha Beach where they will practice their swimming skills, until they are water confident and ready to join the sailing classes.

The focus for the first month will be on getting the children comfortable in and around the water, comfortable in a boat without a sail, and let them feel in control of the boat. The children will also have to learn about wind direction, overall safety, knots, and respecting nature. Step by step their confidence will increase until everyone is confident enough to sit in a boat with a sail, steer the boat and feel in control when sailing in the lagoon.

Those kids who show a real interest and ability in sailing could potentially continue in the Club’s regular youth sailing program through individual, private, sponsorships. This opens the door to further development in the sport as they can continue to learn how to race and compete in many local and regional events.

“We are proud to contribute to our community in this way, to get more local youth out on the water and give them the possibility to be involved in the marine industry. Sailing is a sport of ethics, fair play and sportsmanship. One of the important arguments for participation in the sport is the belief that it creates situations which provide opportunities to learn lessons for life about desirable and undesirable conduct. This moral and educational aspect contributes to the positive development of individuals and, in turn, to the development of society.” Continues Revelman.

NPOWER gave the Sint Maarten Yacht Club the opportunity to showcase their Primary School Program in a video, filmed and edited by Serb Tember, executed by the Foresee Foundation – NPOwer and funded by the Sint Maarten Development Fund and Samenwerkende Fondsen Cariben.

Source: Sint Maarten Yacht Club

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