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Royal Geelong Yacht Club and GeelongPort teach essential skills through sailing

Royal Geelong Yacht Club (RGYC) and GeelongPort have joined forces to provide Geelong’s youth the opportunity to participate in the sport of sailing for free.

The partnership is aimed at providing local government school students with the opportunity to develop essential life skills such as teamwork, self-confidence, communication, leadership, problem solving and resilience through the sport of sailing.

The sailing program offers schools from around the Geelong region the opportunity to enrol students in sailing lessons throughout the school terms.

“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,” remarked RGYC Commodore Roger Bennett.

“Sailing has often been perceived as exclusive or difficult to access,” he added. “Our collaboration with GeelongPort aims to dismantle these barriers, ensuring that sailing becomes an inclusive activity open to all.”

GeelongPort CEO Brett Winter said it was important that local businesses work together to support the physical and mental health of young people and help local students try new activities.

“By partnering with Royal Geelong Yacht Club, we are helping local students set sail beyond their books and computers,” Mr Winter said.

“Water-based activities, such as sailing, offer significant mental and physical health benefits for young people and it’s a great way for them to create social connections.”

Students and teachers from Northern Bay College were recently treated to an unforgettable day on the water, participating in a series of short form races off Wangim Walk.

Participants were given the opportunity to learn how to sail from seasoned RGYC sailors on their new fleet of RS21 boats. These boats are state of the art and specifically designed to facilitate safe, engaging, and accessible learning experiences for participants of all levels.

Mr Winter said it was fantastic to see a high level of interest from schools such as Northern Bay Secondary College and Western Heights College wanting to participate in the program.

“We can confirm that Northern Bay College has already booked students to participate in the program in term 2 and term 4,” Mr Winter said.

“Corio Bay plays an important role in Geelong’s broader economy and sailing is a really great springboard into the wider maritime industry.”

The partnership is just the first step for Royal Geelong Yacht Club and GeelongPort.

The new OTB and Sailing School building as part of the Geelong Waterfront Safe Harbour Precinct Project which is currently under construction will provide many more opportunities for Geelong students to get involved in the sport of sailing with the continued support of GeelongPort.