The America’s Cup is teaming up with some of the biggest names in the marine industry to launch an ambitious youth education and sailing programme.
It’s all thanks to the America’s Cup Endeavour Program, an educational initiative for kids ages 9 to 12 years old in Bermuda. The programme is the vision and brainchild of Sir Russell Coutts, CEO of the America’s Cup Event Authority. With his depth of knowledge and experience in sailing around the world, he felt that there was a great opportunity for using sailing as a tool for teaching STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math) education and inspiring young people to try sailing for themselves.
“Using sailing as an educational tool for learning at school is a great way of increasing the participation of the sport worldwide and also growing the grass roots,” says Tom Herbert-Evans, community sailing manager for the America’s Cup Event Authority.
The main goal for the programme was to remove barriers and allow every Bermudian student to have access to the sport, which in the past has only been accessible by more affluent families. “Traditionally, sailing is a relatively high-equipment-cost sport and activity, so a key goal of the programme was to make sure it is free for all participants,” says Herbert-Evans.
Students get to learn during school hours, which gives everyone the chance to participate. However, don’t confuse the programme with a “sailing to learn course.” Students are taught awareness of sustainability, marine debris research, and health and wellness, which is taught through dedicated sessions, including training with ORACLE TEAM USA.
“We want every student to learn, especially those that struggle in the typical classroom environment,” says Herbert-Evans. “This is exploratory learning at its finest. We want to provide a unique and eye-opening experience for all. Finally, we want those who want to continue in the sport to start the pathway to potentially becoming involved in a career or even the America’s Cup!”