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Youngsters test skills at Endeavour regatta

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Job well done: students, teachers and John Rankin, the Governor, the second from the right, at Shelly Bay for the 2019 Endeavour Graduate Summer Programme regatta (Photograph supplied)

Young people from 11 middle schools took to the water for the 2019 Endeavour Graduate Summer Programme regatta.

Graduates from the Endeavour Community Sailing programme sailed from the Endeavour Forts in St George’s and Dockyard to Shelly Bay, where they met for an afternoon of activities.

A total of 27 students took part in the regatta, testing their maritime skills.

The Endeavour Graduate summer sessions incorporate adventure sails for youth sailors to demonstrate what they have learnt and further advance their skills.

John Rankin, the Governor, also took part in the event and donned buoyancy aids to take part in friendly competition with the students.

Mr Rankin said: “The pupils to whom I talked were able to explain to me how much they had learnt 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.”

The regatta was just one of a series of events organised as part of the Endeavour programme.

The Endeavour Middle School Programme engages every student in Bermuda during their first year of middle school in a five-day learning experience focused on Steam concepts applicable to sailing, aligned with the Cambridge Curriculum.

Residents who wish to continue on can take part in the Endeavour Graduate Programme, intended for students who have completed the Endeavour Middle School Programme and want to further develop their skills. The 2019 Endeavour Graduate Programme launched at the beginning of July and includes eight groups of students who will participate in a two-week session at Endeavour’s St George’s or Dockyard location.

Students in the west end have sailed from Dockyard to Darrell’s Island, Diving Board Island and Admiralty Park while the east end students sailed from St George’s to Castle Harbour, Cooper’s Island and Blue Hole.

Tia Tankard, Endeavour’s club development officer said: “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.” Tristan Loescher, Endeavour’s acting programme manager, said sustainability and the need to protect the oceans are an important component of the programme.

Mr Loescher said: “It’s appalling how much debris ends up in our waters and on our shores, however it’s inspiring to see our students’ enthusiasm towards taking care of our natural and marine environments.

“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.”

So far this summer more than 2,000 pieces of marine debris have been collected by the participants.

Bridging the gap: John Rankin, the Governor, enjoys a joke while sailing with young people in the Endeavour programme