Innovative Sailing Program Makes A Difference For Disadvantaged Children

A chance meeting between the Rear Commodore of the Royal Yacht Club of Victoria and a teacher from the Olympic Village Primary School resulted in a group of 24 students passing through a sailing course to deliver extraordinary results.

The mission was not so much to teach a bunch of kids to sail, but to make a difference to their lives. By any measure the students at the Charles LaTrobe College, Olympic Village Primary School are highly disadvantaged.

David Seaman, Rear Commodore of the RYCV, took it upon himself to reach out to a group of children and help them with their personal and life skills.

“We saw an opportunity, where through sailing, we could make a difference to the lives of these kids,” David said.

The RYCV entered into an arrangement with the school and their teachers. The club would take 24 Grade 3 and 4 students as selected by the school and put them through their sailing course. The school would provide transportation and ensure the children attended all of the 10 half day sessions.

The RYCV would provide the facilities, yachts and instructors. To provide the essential funding to run such a program, Nautilus Marine and RYCV members contributed the cash required, principally for staff wages.

“This wasn’t about teaching kids to sail, but rather to give the kids confidence and a sense of self worth,” David Seaman said.

“Initially some of the students displayed all the normal shyness and reluctance to get involved. But once encouraged, they conquered their fears and their faces lit up with delight as they embraced the opportunity.”

“The introverted kids came out, non swimmers donned their vests and were soon jumping into the water from the jetty. Kids were working together.”

Within three sessions we had the group of kids out on the water and sailing. Each of the Optimist boats had two kids on board working as a team practicing their new sailing skills.

“Our mission was to make a difference and we have certainly achieved this,” said David Seaman.

“Our instructors feedback is that this course was one of the very best ever conducted. The enthusiasm of the kids was outstanding.”

Laura Keays, the Olympic Village Primary teacher involved said, “There was an enormous improvement in the students confidence and ability to form relationships with one another that continued on once back at school.

This has been an extraordinary program that was an absolute highlight of the students year. It was incredible to see students that were previously afraid of the water to work confidently as a team sailing out on the bay.”

The involvement of Nautilus Marine has been vital in making the program possible. Since the pioneering course has been completed so successfully, Nautilus Marine as sponsor of the RVYC, has pledged to provide further funding for future courses.

“As a company Nautilus Marine sponsors a huge variety of causes and events, but this one has to be the most satisfying,” said Mark Crockford of Nautilus Marine.

“These are young people in our community who through no fault of their own find themselves in a very difficult place. This isn’t about training the yachtsmen of the future, it is all about helping young members of our community gain a sense of self worth and personal confidence.”

“That’s a cause we are delighted to support.”

With over 125 years of marine insurance expertise between the senior Nautilus Marine executives, Nautilus Marine is absolutely committed to providing high levels of customer service, backed by local knowledge.

Nautilus Marine Insurance Agency is a wholly Australian owned insurance agency that provides insurance programs for boat owners and for the marine industry. This insurance is issued by Nautilus Marine Insurance Agency Pty Ltd (ABN 34 100 633 038 AFSL 227186) on behalf of certain underwriters at Lloyd’s. Nautilus Marine has offices across Australia.

For further information on this story contact:

Mark Crockford
Nautilus Marine

28 – 32 George Street
Sandringham. Vic 3191
Ph: (03) 8599 5000
Toll free 1300 780 533