The Sint Maarten Yacht Club’s Sailing School offers after school sailing lessons from September – June, each year and this year’s season was concluded with a diploma ceremony to highlight the sailing skills of its 70 sailing students. These students sail on weekdays and are between 7 and 18 years old. Students were presented with progress reports and diplomas depending on their level of sailing.
Parents, family, and friends gathered at the Sint Maarten Yacht Club Dock where the ceremony was held. The sailing instructors called forward their groups one at a time and highlighted the accomplishments of the students individually. Diplomas were given to those students who reached a certain level of sailing. Those who were in between those levels were given a progress report to show what skills they can further improve on to reach a level.
“We have seen amazing growth this sailing season and lots of enthusiasm. Some kids only joined the program earlier this year and can still take home an impressive progress report. Those who didn’t collect a diploma can still be very proud of themselves as they have learned so much throughout this year”. Said head coach Sam Peeks.
Sailing is known to enhance life skills, providing self-esteem, social skills and hands-on skill-based confidence. In addition, it creates a more motivated and focused attitude, a positive awareness of the outdoors and offers a platform to make new friendships.
This past week saw 9 advanced sailing students participate in the Assistant Sailing Instructor Course that teaches them to assist with sailing lessons. Of these 9 students, 5 had already started assisting from January onwards and were joined by 4 new students. The course consists of understanding the different skill levels, creating instructor manuals and safety. They will start teaching together with fully certified instructors and over time will become more independent, with the ultimate goal to run their own classes.
“Being able to sail yourself is very different from being able to teach someone how to sail. This course allows some of our more advanced students to gain this perspective and knowledge so they can assist with our after-school sailing lessons on a weekly basis. Besides learning the theory behind teaching how to sail, we also spent significant time on the water allowing the students to practice teaching”. Explained Saskia Revelman, Sailing School Manager.
Sailing lessons will restart in September, until then children who are interested in sailing can sign up for the Summer Camp that runs from June 26 – Aug 5. The summer camps focus on sailing to teach the basics and sail to beautiful spots like Friar’s Bay and Little Bay. This is all combined with watersports activities like snorkeling and kayaking, treasure hunts, and much more. Making it both and educational and fun program.