Endeavour sailing programme marks six years on the water
A sailing programme for youngsters has marked its sixth year of operation with more than 3,500 pupils trained in seamanship and life skills.
The Endeavour Middle School Programme charity was designed to build knowledge and confidence through sailing, as well as science, technology, engineering, arts and maths, or Steam subjects, and inspire potential careers at sea.
Trainees also learn about the weather, knot-tying, water safety, sailing fundamentals and the island’s maritime history.
The year-long programme of sailing classes ends this month for pupils from four public schools and eight private schools.
The classes run on weekdays from 9am to 3.30pm from October to December and March to June to align with the academic calendar as well as the Cambridge Curriculum.
Jennifer Pitcher, the Endeavour community engagement, development and partnerships manager, said that access to opportunity was not the same across the island.
She added: “Statistics indicate that Bermuda’s young people face the risk of not competing successfully in the global economy without a strong foundation of Steam knowledge and education to develop their competitive edge in the job market.”
Ms Pitcher said Endeavour welcomed a “growing partnership” with the Ministry of Education, along with schools and teachers.
The programme is free because of donations and lead sponsor, Orbis Investments.
Pupils also pitch in for beach cleanups and classes on environmental protection.
C Renee Heyliger, a maths teacher at Sandys Secondary Middle School, said Endeavour helped pupils “both developmentally and academically to enhance what they are learning about at school”.
The programme also teaches skincare through a partnership with the Bermuda Cancer and Health Centre and maritime heritage with the National Museum of Bermuda.
Lisa Howie, the director of learning and engagement at the museum, said Endeavour complimented how the study of history “nurtures empathy, promotes understanding of divergent perspectives and builds comparative and critical thinking skills”.
A total of 70 per cent of pupils who took part in the programme said they had boosted their knowledge of Steam topics.
Tristan Loescher, the Endeavour programme manager, said most youngsters had “little to no sailing experience” before they signed up.
He added: “It is great to see the progress of students throughout their experience at Endeavour, and see them grow and develop as a person and as a sailor.
“By the end of the week, it is very rewarding to see how happy and proud they are of what they have accomplished.”