Students to sail the Bay

Girls from Geelong Youth Engagement about to start their sailing class at Royal Geelong Yacht Club. (Ivan Kemp) 408501_10

Students have the chance to sail the waters of Corio Bay thanks to a community training program.

Royal Geelong Yacht Club (RGYC) and GeelongPort have teamed up to deliver Ready, Set, Sail to school students in Geelong for free.

GeelongPort chief executive Brett Winter said the program would give close to 32 students a place to learn how to sail, which they’ll do close to three hours a week.

“Anyone that is sailing a vessel have to work as a crew and there’s some leadership and teamwork skills that are quite transferable to other areas,” he said.

“It’s a great opportunity for local students to get involved and get out on the Bay. It helps them build some confidence, resilience, and leadership.

“Providing some accessibility to something like this can really open up young people’s minds to doing things they might not have thought that they could get into.”

Mr Winter said sailing allowed young people to learn something new that they “might not have thought possible”.

“These students come away with more confidence about getting out there and trying new things…and it’s really about the connection to nature as well,” he said.

“We also recognise that there’s a tremendous value to the community and we’re always looking at ways to try and support and encourage people to have access to the Bay.”

RGYC commodore Roger Bennett said sailing was often considered “exclusive or difficult to access” and that the program aimed to “dismantle these barriers”.

“In an age where extracurricular activities are crucial for holistic development, we believe that every student should have the chance to experience the joys and challenges of sailing,” he said.