In 2018, in the wake of the Rendezvous 2017 Tall Ships Regatta, we were delighted to be able to launch the Canada Legacy Fund with support from Rendez-Vous Navel de Quebec.
The aim of the fund was to support sail training programs that reach disadvantaged young Canadians. One of the recipients of the fund was Toronto Brigantine Inc, a charity that is dedicated to building key life skills in young people through the challenges of sailing a traditionally rigged ship. They received Can$10,000 to help develop a new sail training program for young people including those at risk.
The project took 24 at risk young people from the Toronto area and put them through an eight week program aimed at building resilience, teamwork skills, self-efficacy and leadership skills. The project would include day sailing and an extended overnight voyage, with Toronto Brigantine working closely with participants to prepare them for their time at sea.
The project saw the development of a new formal sail training and outdoor education program that brought together current research, best practices and proven elements of existing programs for application in a range of sailing and outdoor environments.
The program focuses on developing interpersonal and intrapersonal skills, leadership skills and employability skills alongside teaching traditional sailing skills. Participants were chosen from a range of backgrounds, including at risk groups, racialized communities and marginalised groups.
“We were able to bring in and directly involve over 20 youth through the bursary aspect of this project, and we serviced another 200+ youth through the enhanced program we were able to create using the funds supplied by the Legacy Fund, and others.
Capt. Chris Chafe
Creating a positive legacy
The program had a substantial impact on the young people taking part and the follow up highlighted this life changing impact. The bursary support from the Canada Legacy Fund proved invaluable and allowed for more customisable approaches to individuals, while maintaining a high quality team building program. The interactions on board took on more weight through a directed program, and it would appear that the outcomes were more substantive than seen previously.
Supporting Sail Training Around the world
Beyond the Tall Ships Races, Sail Training International works closely with the world’s sail training Tall Ships, national sail training organisations and host ports to help young people benefit from the sail training experience. In addition, we regularly organise seminars, fund research and publications relating to the benefits of experiential learning through sail training to young people, and much more.
Every year we continue to be moved, motivated and inspired by the difference participating in sail training makes to young people’s lives. We see young people from all environments, and particularly those from disadvantaged backgrounds, grow in confidence, rise to challenges, overcome fears, make lifelong friends and enjoy the adventure of a lifetime. Some of the young people we help go on to enjoy careers in the maritime sector whilst others draw on their experience to make their way in the world with their newly acquired confidence and skills.
As we approach our 65th year in an ever changing world, we would like to invite individuals and organisations who believe in young people and whose values resonate with ours to support the work we do.