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Young people develop life skills through unique Newcastle sailing program


Sailing is a sport that requires many skills.

And, several of them can also help people in all areas of life.

That’s what a group of eight students found out when the Making Waves Foundation (MWF) recently launched its much-loved Winds of Change program for the first time in the region.

“In addition to teamwork, the initiative enables the youngsters to develop their confidence and resilience,” MWF community engagement officer Sarah Gamble said.

“The sport can be challenging and unpredictable… and sailors can face a variety of obstacles and setbacks along the way.

“Sailing also requires collaboration, coordination, durability and good communication skills, as well as the ability to adapt quickly to changing conditions.

“So, pupils taking part in Winds of Change learn how to sail and navigate a boat.

“And, as no two sails are the same, they can experience many different scenarios.

“By working together, students learn to rely on each other, build trust and, through these challenges, they understand to persevere even when things get tough.

“It empowers them to have confidence in their own abilities.

“For us, it’s an exciting development for the foundation, too, as it is the first time the program has been coordinated outside of Sydney.”

The Newcastle High School pupils jumped on board at the Newcastle Cruising Yacht Club this term.

From early reports, a great time was had by all.

“They’ve only had two sails so far, they are still learning the boat and their roles,” one of the teachers said.

“But, everyone is really enjoying the program.

“The kids are talking about their roles and how fun it’s been so far.

“Overall, Winds of Change is a unique and impactful way for students to develop important soft skills that will serve them well in all areas of their lives.”

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