Yachting New Zealand are now taking bookings for this summer’s Volvo Sailing…Have a Go! programme, following on from our biggest season since its inception.
Not everyone can be an Olympic or world champion but, for many like Jo Aleh, it starts with a basic introduction to the sport to see if they like it.
Aleh is a two-time Olympic medallist but doesn’t come from a sailing background. She asked her parents if she could try the sport after watching Team New Zealand win the 1995 America’s Cup and was hooked from the moment she jumped in a yacht down at her local club.
Yachting New Zealand have made it even easier for children to get involved through the Volvo Sailing… Have A Go! programme.
Volvo Sailing… Have A Go! is offered to schools throughout the country, designed to give primary and intermediate school students the opportunity to try sailing in a safe and well managed environment.
The programme has been running for 11 years, having been set up by the Sir Peter Blake Trust with the aim of every Kiwi kid having the opportunity to try sailing. As many as 3600 children aged between 8 and 12 are put through the programme each year.
“The main focus is having fun." Volvo Sailing... Have A Go! co-ordinator Danika Mowlem said. "We teach them the basics, let them sail around, capsize, go swimming and have water fights. It’s a really positive experience about sailing. Ideally, they might think it’s a sport they might want to get into.
“The kids love it, especially capsizing, and 95 percent say they want to sail again.”
Yachting New Zealand have three trailers that travel the country during terms 4 and 1, complete with six Optimists, one Weta (trimaran), two Topper Taz and a RIB. They also provide all the gear like wetsuits and lifejackets.
All schools need to do is show up to their local sailing club and go sailing.
For more information or if you would like the Volvo Sailing…Have a Go! programme to visit your school or club this season, contact Danika on (09) 361 4018 or email firstname.lastname@example.org