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Endeavour’s Women on the Water Empowers Bermuda’s Female Youth Sailors

9 Apr 2024

Endeavour is committed to encouraging and promoting gender equity in the sport of sailing and the wider maritime industry by providing opportunities for young people of all backgrounds, skills, and abilities to be exposed to sailing and maritime training opportunities including greater participation by females. 

Since 2015, Endeavour’s programmes have engaged over 7,000 young people with more than 50% female participation overall. Endeavour’s commitment to gender equality and empowerment of all women and girls throughout its socially-inclusive programmes aligns with Goal 5 of the United Nations UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

Celebrated for over 100 years and proclaimed an International Day by the United Nations in 1977, International Women’s Day is an opportunity to reflect on progress made and challenges ahead, as well as to celebrate the acts of courage and determination by women who have played an extraordinary role in the development of their communities and countries. (

Endeavour organises its annual Women on the Water event in honour of International Women’s Day to inspire and empower diverse young women from across Bermuda, encouraging participation in sailing and maritime initiatives. The primary goal of the event is fostering camaraderie and facilitating networking while developing confidence and skills on and off the water to support and grow female participation in the sport of sailing, as well as the broader maritime and STEAM fields.

Endeavour’s Executive Director, Jennifer Pitcher shared, “We are proud to provide opportunities for young women of all backgrounds, skills, and abilities to get out on the water in a safe and supportive environment. We are honoured to be a part of these young women’s journeys of self-discovery and growth, and we are thankful for the opportunity to get to know them, support and encourage them along the way. We are overjoyed to watch these extraordinary young women shine brightly as they discover more about themselves on and off the water, and feel empowered to do their best in everything that they do!”

The March 2024 event brought together 19 young women ages 12-19 years for a fun-filled day of empowerment, connection, and inspiration. Participants represented eight schools from across the Island: Bermuda College, Bermuda Institute, Dellwood Middle School, Sandys Secondary Middle School, Somersfield Academy, The Bermuda High School, Warwick Academy, and Whitney Institute Middle School. 

19-year old Bermuda College student and 2021 Endeavour Springboard Grad, Sari Smith, shared, “I love being a part of the Endeavour Women on the Water event. It was fantastic to see young female sailors from different backgrounds come together, support each other and make new friends. It was inspiring to hear from the guest speakers who are excellent role models encouraging young women to celebrate their talents, follow their dreams and accomplish their goals. Young women need to be supported and have their achievements recognised and celebrated.”

18-year old CedarBridge Academy student and 2022 Endeavour Springboard Grad, Nijanae Pemberton shared, “It was incredible to see young women supportive of each other, full of enthusiasm and curiosity as they learned more about themselves and each other. It is important to encourage our female youth to get involved with sailing toward an increased female participation in sailing and maritime opportunities. I look forward to seeing greater female representation in sailing and the maritime industry in the future.”

Tasia Edwards, Sandys Secondary Middle School student shared, “The Endeavour Women on the Water event was awesome. I made new friends and learned how the coral reefs help Bermuda! Thank you Endeavour for this fun learning experience through sailing!” 

Endeavour’s Operations Manager Olivia Reilly shared, “We are honoured to bring together young women from different schools and provide them with opportunities to learn something new and develop skills that they will continue to use throughout their lives, on and off the water. They sailed Hobie waves with plenty of laughter on the water, and then engaged in shore-side fitness activities including hiking, rowing, and grinding challenges applying what they’ve learned while honing their teamwork, problem-solving and communication skills.”

This female-only event promotes opportunities for diverse young women to connect with and learn from each other, including invaluable opportunities to learn from older Bermudian female youth who are engaged in sailing and the wider maritime sector. 

Heartfelt thanks to our guest speakers who shared their passion and career highlights to inspire our female youth sailors to believe in themselves, dream big and work hard towards their goals. 

Attendees were able to hear inspiring words of encouragement from female role models including some of Bermuda’s talented female sailors: Emily Nagel (SailGP, Star Sailors League (SSL) Team Bermuda, The Ocean Race), Adriana Penruddocke (representing Bermuda at Paris Olympics), and Meghan Sherwin (SSL Team Bermuda).

Emily Nagel, Performance Data Analyst for the British Olympic Sailing Team shared encouraging words for the female youth sailors, “Say yes to new experiences to gain on-water time, just put yourself out there and have a good attitude, and it will result in amazing opportunities while growing your skills and confidence. Believe in yourself, especially in the sport of sailing, if someone says you can’t do something – use that as encouragement to prove them wrong. You are capable! Don’t be afraid to fail. Embrace the opportunities to learn and grow!”

Kallie Marcus – Owner of Kinetix – Natural Movement Ltd. provided a fun aerial arts session focused on positive self-esteem, healthy minds and bodies. Ms. Marcus shared, “Strength of body builds strength of mind. Whether in the air or on the water, the young women of Endeavour display competency, compassion and respect. Aerial Arts, like sailing, requires skills that most don’t fully comprehend. Watching the girls try new skills and display learned ones with humbleness was truly impressive. I look forward to teaching again next year as I watch the Endeavour community expand and evolve. I am honoured to be part of such a wonderful group of women.”

Mia & Jennifer Page, Co-Founders of the natural beauty business Cassine, inspired the girls with a chat about entrepreneurship and sustainability highlighting ways to live in harmony with the marine environment and be custodians of Bermuda’s reefs. Cassine also kindly donated eco-friendly health and beauty gifts for all of the participants and volunteers. Ms. Page said, “It was such a delight to be part of Endeavour’s special women’s day celebrations. Young people are our Island’s future and are increasingly aware of the importance of living sustainably to protect our Island’s natural resources. It is especially important to us to protect our beautiful Bermudian girls, women and reefs one clean beauty product at a time.”

Salt & Cedar also contributed eco-friendly giveaways for attendees, as well as Tuck Shop provided cupcakes and Bonefish Catering provided a healthy lunch.

“Huge thanks to our extraordinary volunteers – Nijanae Pemberton, Sari Smith, Tre’sure Nanette, and  Noah Astwood  –  who dedicated time and energy to ensure the success of the 2024 Women on the Water event. They represent some of the female youth sailors who have completed the Endeavour Assistant Instructor Programme and Endeavour Maritime Career Springboard Programme and give their time and energy to support younger sailors. Younger sailors, in turn, are inspired to see what they can aspire to as they see the success of older females and are encouraged to follow in their footsteps.”

Mrs. Pitcher added, “We are thankful to Endeavour’s valued donors and supporters who make it possible for us to positively impact diverse young lives across Bermuda. We are incredibly grateful for the support and partnership from Endeavour’s lead founding partner, Orbis Investments, along with Arch Capital Group Ltd., BF&M Limited, and PwC Bermuda for their unwavering support of Endeavour’s work with Bermuda’s youth.”

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