24 sailors in the Primary School Sailing Program were rewarded with a sailing or swimming diploma!

June 17, 2022 – Simpson Bay, Sint Maarten

The Sint Maarten Yacht Club’s Primary School Sailing program came to an end for this season on June 17. The two participating schools; Sister Regina Primary School and Seventh Day Adventist Primary School started in the program in September 2021. Both schools selected 12 students that enjoyed free sailing and swimming classes throughout the school year, ever week.

“The students made great progress. In the beginning of the year the students were nervous about being around the water or being in a sailboat, but now most of them can sail a boat on their own and everyone is comfortable in the water. A great achievement but more importantly, great skills for the students in life”. Said Sam Peeks, Sailing Instructor at the Sint Maarten Yacht Club.

In September 2021 the SMYC started the ‘Swim 2 Sail’ project as part of the Primary School Sailing Program. This program provides swimming classes for those children who require to develop their swimming level before they can start sailing. In collaboration with Mr. Busby as swimming teacher, four children participated in this program and developed their swimming level with the goal to join the sailing program when their level is good enough.

Students from the Seventh Day Adventist School with their swimming and sailing diploma's.

During the last class of the season, on June 16 and June 17, the students showed their skills to their parents, teachers, class mates and instructors that came to the Sint Maarten Yacht Club to see their progress. At the end of the class the students were rewarded with a Sailing Diploma or a Swimming Diploma.

The SMYC is planning to expand the Primary School Sailing Program in September 2022 to four schools per week, a total of 48 students, and is offering the ‘Swim 2 Sail’ program to all participating schools. The Sister Regina Primary School and Seventh Day Adventist Primary School confirmed their participating for the new season again and will both select 12 new students to join. The Yacht Club is working on setting up a collaboration with the All Children Educated (ACE) Foundation, the Voice of St. Maarten – Youth Brigade, and the Leonard Connor Primary School.

Students from the Sr. Regina Primary School with their sailing diploma's. "We are looking forward to expanding the program and introducing as much Sint Maarten youth to the sport of sailing as possible. 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. With the new fleet of RS Zests and Optimists the Sailing School fleet is in perfect condition to offer this to the island”. Continues Sam Peeks.

Would you like to have more information about this project or support the program financially? Contact Saskia@smyc.com

About the Sint Maarten Yacht Club:

Established in 1980 with the goal to promote sailing on the island of St Maarten. It organizes multiple sailing events throughout the year, with the St Maarten Heineken Regatta as its crown jewel. A youth sailing program stimulates local youngsters to become part of the sailing community, teaching them life skills like team work, perseverance and confidence. Always looking to further develop sailing on St Maarten, the Club is active in promoting the sport, as well as the beautiful destination it is located at. For more information visit www.smyc.com

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