Boat launches NT youth sailing program 


Charles Darwin University (CDU) is investing in a youth sponsorship initiative to provide a first-hand opportunity for young people to participate in the Territory’s great outdoor lifestyle.

CDU’s Faculty of Education, Health and Science is sponsoring the sail of a Hobie-16 catamaran, as part of an NT youth development program created by Rotary Club Darwin North.

The Minister for Youth Sport and Recreation, Matthew Bonson, will officially launch the catamaran at the Darwin Sailing Club.

The catamaran will be used as part of the Darwin Sailing Challenge program to give Darwin’s young sailors a chance to challenge the Australian Youth Multihull Nationals in the prestigious sailing competition taking place in Perth in January 2009.

Winners of their class at the Perth regatta qualify for Yachting Australia’s youth team and will compete against 60 international teams in the Volvo Youth Sailing ISAF World Championship in Brazil in July 2009.

In the longer term, Rotary Club Darwin North also will use the project to assist youth at risk on a case-by-case basis by sponsoring sail training and club membership.

Director, Youth International Rotary Club Darwin North and CDU lecturer, Dan Baschiera said that the training program was much more than just teaching young people sailing skills.

“This is a proactive challenge to direct youth away from street racing, playstations and anti-social behaviour,” he said.

“Young people will be taught to sail and respect Mother Nature, and along the way they will acquire both discipline and leadership skills.”

The scheme is part of CDU’s community engagement program and linked to community sport, health and youth.

Other sponsors of the project include the NT Government through its Community Benefit Grant scheme, the Multihull Association of the NT (MANTA), the Darwin Sailing Club and Northern Consultant Paediatricians.

The breakfast launch will take place on Friday August 8 at the Darwin Sailing Club at 9am.