Report by Athenkosi Vena Athi

First of all, I’d like to thank South African Sailing for funding the Learn to Sail program. We have 6 fantastic young Sailors that are all 11 years old and come from the same school in the same grade. The reason I’m so thankful for the program is because it feels like we have struck two birds with one stone – the kids have quite a few years to participate in an optimist and the school is fully onboard, so they will attend ‘away’ regattas.

In Total we have about 14 optimist sailors which are attending on the weekends and then competing in club races.  The only thing that kills me, is when we plan to do away events, the parents don’t show confidence and don’t know that their kids are ready and have huge potential.

It resulted with me needing to come up with a plan of making an event once a month where my students have to sail with their parents and have a race on TSL’s and the advantage of this, is that the parents which are non-sailors get a feel and also make a bond among the parents that are already sailors. By doing this, I’m trying as much as possible to get everyone to be in the same boat, trust and be free when their kids are being taken care of by other parents.

A year ago, I was complaining about the shortage of girls here at Mac, but now we have plenty and these kids love the sport, it’s a matter of the parents to just get them sail away from MAC, so we can go see where we are vs other Opti sailors and come back and train. I’m extremely keen to go with them as their coach.

Thank you very much for considering us and I will make sure that I keep persuading the parents to work with me on this one as I believe in their children and it’s pointless to keep so much potential within our club if they won’t go and represent MAC.