Our latest project, The Nevis Yacht Club (NYC), was established in 1989. The NYC Youth Sailing program was established in 2009 when the club bought its first dinghy (‘Optimist’) from the St Maarten Yacht club. The club has 33 paid up members and offers sailing to all youth from the ages 8 to 16. One a regular basis, there are approximately 16 youngsters that attend the sailing program on a regular basis.
ACF supported this project with a donation of EC$24,000.00 to allow NYC to continue in its endeavors to attract more youth into the sport of sailing.
Sailing teaches confidence, teamwork, and accountability, it also develops a sense of accomplishment and pride. Sailing offers the young mind an opportunity to overcome fear and develop confidence within oneself. That confidence is put to the test and developed when taking a sailing vessel and charting a course across the water and to control said vessel under various conditions of wind and waves as well as when you realize that you can capsize (fail) and right the boat and continue on your planned course (to pick oneself up and continue with confidence learnt).
The program’s slogan is POSITIVE YOUTH DEVELOPMENT. To this end, NYC is looking to offer year round sailing to all interested youngsters and ultimately introduce swimming and sailing into the school curriculum. This project is relevant year-round as every child involved is learning something positive, is off the street and out of gangs.
The kids learn how to sail, how to maintain boats and equipment, how to read weather and learn all things maritime. They are taught about safety and first aid. The expectation is that eventually the kids will obtain RYA Certification and can train to become instructors. They will become assets to the local community and be well received into the work environment from tourism watersports to yachting and yacht charter industry plus so much more opportunities that would otherwise not be available to them.
The Club’s objectives –
1. To consistently provide youth with an opportunity to learn new skills thru a sailing program
2. To grow the program to reach more children in the Federation
3. To create sustainability, by acquiring boats that can in turn be rented to tourists and club members. These boat rentals will serve as an income generator and an incentive program for club members which will create on going revenue to help sustain the program long term.
The ultimate goals is to have swimming and sailing classes integrated into the school curriculum and eventually have one or more trained Nationals, completely certified in sailing instruction, leading the program.
- Boys and girls, from 8 to 16 years old.
- Parents and households benefit from positive development and change in kids who develop confidence and pride in their achievements.
- Communities and neighbourhoods benefit from kids no longer involved or never getting involved in gangs.
- The Federation’s tourism product benefits from the entry of trained confident individuals with positive outlooks entering the workforce.
The program is coordinated by Commodore Mark Thereon and his colleagues.