Endeavour inspires youth to compete in first regatta
Ten youth sailors were among the green fleet during the 2020 Bermuda Optimist Open Championship presented by PwC. The Bermuda Optimist Open Championship green fleet provides an opportunity for Bermuda’s youth sailors who are newer to sailing to have fun while learning and advancing their skills.
Tia Tankard, Endeavour’s Community Engagement Co-ordinator said, “We’re thrilled that ten Endeavour graduates competed in the 2020 Bermuda Optimist Open Championship, as well as three sailors competed in the Bermuda Optimist National Championship who were previous Endeavour grads. We congratulate all of the sailors for their dedication and wish them the best as they continue to work hard to advance their skills. It is remarkable to see how these young people balance their academic commitments with extracurricular activities. We’re very pleased to see how much effort they put in towards developing their skills on and off the water.”
Geovanni Hayward, Endeavour Programme Co-ordinator, commented, “We’re proud of our young sailors who put their skills to the test for their first regatta experience during the 2020 Bermuda Optimist Open Championship. Endeavour grads who participated represent students from three public middle schools and two private middle schools with the majority having no prior sailing experience before engaging in one of Endeavour’s programmes.”
Hayward added, “All of our sailors have progressed very well as a result of their time and energy dedicated to develop their sailing skills and techniques. Students were invited to the Endeavour Graduate Programme after demonstrating the highest level of respect for their peers and instructors, a willingness to learn, good listening, teamwork and excellent effort during their participation in the Endeavour Middle School Programme.”
The Endeavour Middle School Programme, now in its sixth year, engages every student across Bermuda during their first year of middle school in a five-day experiential learning featuring science, technology, engineering, arts and math, which we call STEAM through sailing. Over 2,800 students have engaged in the programme since 2015 from all four public middle schools, seven private schools and home schools. The STEAM learning objectives align with the Cambridge Curriculum math implemented in Bermuda’s public schools and focuses on inquiry-based learning that builds teamwork, self-confidence and life skills.
The Endeavour Graduate Programme engages a new cohort of students each year who commence in the summer during a hands-on training clinic to develop their skills on and off the water. Those who demonstrate a keen interest are invited to continue advancing their skills during weekends and school breaks in the autumn and spring.
Each autumn, the Bermuda Optimist Dinghy Association organises the Bermuda Optimist National and Open Championships for youth sailors across Bermuda. Endeavour encourages youth sailors participating in the Endeavour Graduate Programme to participate as their first try at racing in a regatta. The BODA is the representative of the Bermuda Sailing Association for the Optimist class in Bermuda. The BODA is run by a group of dedicated volunteers who organise youth sailing activities throughout the year for their members.
BODA Sailor Development Officer Dede Cooper said, “BODA is always pleased when Endeavour sailors are able to join in our regattas/events and hopes to see more ‘pink sails’ out on the water in the near future.”
Renée Greenslade, Endeavour Programme Coordinator commented, “The Bermuda Optimist Open Championship provides an excellent opportunity for Endeavour grads to not only experience their first regatta but also a chance to meet and sail with other young people from across the Island while developing their confidence and skills.“
Endeavour asked Endeavour grads few questions regarding their participation in the green fleet such as how they were feeling to take part in their first regatta, how did Endeavour prepare them for their experience, and what they took away from their experience.
Clearwater Middle School student Aaron Lugo Jr shared, “It was such a fun experience to be a part of. I felt very prepared for my first regatta with the help of my Endeavour coaches. My favourite part about my experience was the sailing course. Sailing is fun especially with my team-mates who I enjoy sailing with.”
Dellwood Middle School student Alay Burgess-Rocker, shared, “I was excited to participate in my first regatta. I felt prepared for my experience because my practice racing against other sailors during the Endeavour Graduate Programme. I was happy that I was close to the lead for a little bit in one of the races. I learnt how to sail in a race against a lot of people and gained new tips to improve my skills.”
The Bermuda High School student Carmela Easton said, “I felt nervous and excited to take part in my first sail racing event. I felt very prepared because we practised the starts for races and I had an understanding for how the racecourse was set up. My favourite part about my experience was when I knew I could get a good place in the event. I learnt that I am a good sailor.”
Somersfield Academy student Noah Astwood shared, “Endeavour taught me how to sail the Opti and they gave me tips before the races on how to improve which was very helpful. I had a lot of fun making new friends. I learnt that you will have more fun and enjoy yourself if you aren’t so serious about the race and are more focused on making sure everyone has fun which will improve your performance.”
Noah added: “I also learnt that if you tell yourself you will do good in a race you will because a lot of it depends on your mindset which is why I think I did so good in my races because I had a good mindset. If you speak to your team-mates about the race and sailing techniques you can all improve and have fun. I had a lot of fun and I really love sailing with Endeavour.”
Dellwood Middle School student, D’Angelo Williams shared, “I feel I did very good sailing during my first regatta. It was very fun but intense. I learnt from my experience to stay positive and never give up. “
Jennifer Pitcher, Endeavour’s Community Engagement, Development and Partnerships Manager said, “We’re grateful to Endeavour’s supporters who helped ensure Endeavour’s sailors could participate in this year’s event. We’re thankful for our Endeavour team for their tireless efforts to ensure Endeavour’s sailors felt prepared for their first regatta and our boats were ready for a weekend of sailing.“
“We’re grateful for the wonderful support from the Bermuda Optimist Dinghy Association and the Royal Bermuda Yacht Club, who helped ensure all of Endeavour’s sailors were registered successfully as well as supporting sailors’ participation with bursaries. Endeavour is grateful to the RBYC for hosting an amazing event that our sailors and team truly enjoyed!
Endeavour Community Sailing is a Bermuda-registered charity and non-profit that engages youth from diverse backgrounds across Bermuda in experiential learning through sailing that builds confidence, teamwork and life skills. Endeavour’s programmes are made possible thanks to our incredible supporters, including lead sponsor Orbis Investments.
• Visit www.endeavour.bm to learn more abut Endeavour’s programmes