Navigating the weather, wind and waves while sailing gives Bermuda’s youth a great opportunity to develop vital skills. Endeavour Community Sailing, a Bermuda-registered charity, leverages sailing to build self-confidence, teamwork, and life skills by engaging youth from diverse backgrounds across Bermuda in hands-on experiential learning.
A key goal of Endeavour Community Sailing is to integrate youth from different backgrounds across Bermuda and expose them to sailing. The majority of youth engaging in Endeavour’s programmes have no prior sailing experience, and thanks to Endeavour’s generous supporters such as lead sponsor Orbis, there is no cost to participate in Endeavour’s school-based programmes.
The Endeavour Middle School Programme engages every student in Bermuda during their first year of middle school in a 5-day learning experience focused on Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math, or STEAM concepts applicable to sailing. Endeavour’s STEAM through sailing curriculum is designed to align with the Cambridge Curriculum that is taught in Bermuda’s public schools to build on what students are learning in the classroom and enrich their learning experience.
The Endeavour Graduate Programme brings together students from every middle school across the Island to advance their sailing skills. The Endeavour Graduate Programme was established to create a pathway for students who have completed the Endeavour Middle School Programme and are keen to continue sailing and further develop their skills.
Participation in the Endeavour Graduate Programme is by invite-only and extended to a mix of public and private school students who demonstrated excellent teamwork, listening skills, a willingness to learn, effort, and respect for others, during their participation in the Endeavour Middle School Programme.
The 2019 Endeavour Graduate Programme commenced at the beginning of the July and includes 8 groups of students aged 11-12 years who will participate in a 2-week session at one of Endeavour’s two locations. Every two weeks new groups are welcomed for a series of theory-based shore sessions combined with practical sessions on the water and each sailor receives customized feedback toward improving their skills.
Renee Greenslade, Endeavour’s Programme Coordinator comments, “It’s amazing to see the students’ progression during the 2-week sailing clinic in the summer! Each day they are learning so much about sailing, meeting new friends and making memories they will surely remember for the rest of their lives!”
On June 2, the 2018 cohort of Endeavour Grads came together to celebrate their achievements and participate in an Endeavour Graduate regatta for the final event of the programme. Despite the weather not cooperating for the regatta as winds grew too strong for it to be safe for sailors to be on the water there were many smiling faces as sailors interacted with each other while engaging in land-based team activities. It also meant sailors had more time to get to know each other and share what they enjoyed from their experiences during the Endeavour Graduate Programme.
Along with Endeavour Graduates’ family members who attended the special event at the Endeavour West Fort, distinguished guests including His Excellency the Governor of Bermuda, Hugh Gillespie, Head of Regulatory Compliance and Lead Counsel at Orbis Investments and Endeavour Board members were present to congratulate the 2018 Endeavour Graduates for their perseverance, hard work and accomplishments.
Endeavour’s Club Development Officer Tia Tankard explains, “It’s incredible to observe students build their skills during Endeavour’s programmes, but more importantly it’s remarkable to see their confidence increase as they become more comfortable on the water after each session. We are delighted that many of our youth participants are interested to continue sailing after they have completed Endeavour’s programmes. We are grateful to work with local sailing clubs and the Bermuda Optimist Dinghy Association toward supporting Bermuda’s youth who have completed Endeavour’s programmes and wish to continue sailing in youth programmes and regattas.”
During His Excellency’s visit on June 2 he highlighted his keen interest to sail with Endeavour’s participants and plans were set for his return to sail with the Endeavour Graduates in the summer.
On Thursday, July 25, two groups of 2019 Endeavour Grads sailed from their respective Endeavour Forts in St. George’s and Dockyard to meet at Shelly Bay for a fun afternoon of sailing. The Endeavour team and sailors were honoured to welcome distinguished guests His Excellency the Governor of Bermuda and Aide-de-Camp Lieutenant Alexander Gibbs to be a part of the fun activities.
A total of 27 students representing 11 middle schools participated in the 2019 Endeavour Graduate Summer Programme regatta. It was a fantastic opportunity for the sailors to meet each other, share what they learned and their favourite part of their experience.
Students also had a unique chance to ask questions to His Excellency before sailing Hobie Wave catamarans in a friendly competition. Youth sailors were paired up from different parishes and schools and some were fortunate to team up with His Excellency and his Aide-de-Camp Lt. Alexander Gibbs who also wore buoyancy aids, sunscreen and caps as they prepared for fun on the water.
Governor John Rankin said: “It was enormous fun to be out on the water at Shelly Bay with the Endeavour students. I was able to see for myself how Endeavour teaches new skills and helps to build confidence. The pupils to whom I talked were able to explain to me how much they had learned and had clearly enjoyed the opportunity to spend time with other young people from across the island. I am grateful to all who make programmes like Endeavour possible. It is initiatives like these which make a difference in the lives of young people and help them to build and grow as individuals.”
It was quite a close competition as all of the sailors demonstrated their impressive skills. Congratulations to the first place team members: Jahmi (Whitney Institute Middle School), Samara (Warwick Academy), and Noah (Somersfield Academy), second place team members: Ciana (Sandys Secondary Middle School) and Elena (The Bermuda High School for Girls), and third place team members: Antoine (Impact Mentoring Academy), Neo (Clearwater Middle School), and Andrew (Warwick Academy).
The Endeavour Graduate summer sessions also incorporate adventure sails for youth sailors to demonstrate what they have learned and further advance their skills. The West Grads have sailed from Dockyard to Darrell’s Island, Diving Board Island and Admiralty Park while the East Grads have sailed from St. George’s to Castle Harbour, Cooper’s Island / Long Bay, and Blue Hole.
Beyond learning about sailing theory, sustainability is a key element that is embedded in all of Endeavour’s programmes toward inspiring the next generation of healthy ocean ambassadors.
Tristan Loescher, Endeavour’s Acting Programme Manager states, “It’s appalling how much debris ends up in our waters and on our shores, however it’s inspiring to see our students’ enthusiasm toward taking care of our natural and marine environments. Mr. Loescher explains, “during the summer sessions we have at least one focused clean up with each group, however we often end up cleaning up even more as we pick up whatever items we encounter during all of the adventure sails and field trips.”
“Endeavour encourages sailors to become citizen scientists as students analyse and discuss their findings during beach clean ups. Sailors track what items they collect, for example food wrappers, bottle caps, microplastics, then input the data on the Marine Debris Tracker app facilitated by the Rozalia Project.”
Mr. Loescher adds, “Since the beginning of the summer students have collected nearly 2,000 marine debris items. Although the students participate in the Endeavour Middle School Programme where they complete a module focused on the impact of marine debris on our environment, we continue to build on their knowledge of marine conservation and encourage them to do their part to eliminate single-use items from their lifestyles.”
Thanks to Endeavour’s generous supporters including lead sponsor Orbis, Bermuda’s youth are building confidence and developing essential life skills such as communication, problem solving and teamwork by engaging in Endeavour’s experiential education programmes.Back to News Archives
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