The Sint Maarten Yacht Club (SMYC) has started the new season of the sailing program for primary schools. This year, the Seventh-day Adventist school Day and the Sister Regina School, with 12 students from each school, are beneficiaries of free weekly sailing lessons throughout the school year.
If in previous years this sailing program was supported by the private sector, for the 2021-2022 school year, the SMYC requested funding from the World Trust Fund, with the help of the R4CR (Resources For Community Resilience) project, this which made it possible to continue and expand its sailing program for primary schools.
“We are always looking for ways to further develop the program,” says Michele Kortweg, CEO of SMYC, “as an association we rely on donations and sponsorships and we are grateful to have secured funding from the trust fund. of Sint Maarten with the technical support of the R4CR program ”.
The sailing training program consists of free weekly sailing lessons for the 12 pupils of the 6th year of each school. To be able to attend sailing lessons, participants must know how to swim and feel comfortable in the water. Although they wear life jackets, the SMYC requires children to have a certain level of swimming, so swimming lessons are provided for those pupils who need to develop their swimming level. This first month of training will be dedicated, among other things, to making children comfortable in the water, in a canoe, as well as learning general safety or respecting nature.
Students who show a real interest, and some ability in sailing, could continue in the club's regular youth sailing program, through individual and private sponsorships. This opened the door for further development in the sport as, according to SMYC officials, they can continue to learn to race and participate in many local and regional events.
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