By Aiyda Khan
Dozens of Perth school children have taken up the challenge to learn the art of sailing.
The Tackers program at the East Fremantle Yacht Club gives children aged between seven and 12, a safe environment to learn how to sail.
Children learn about the essentials of safety procedures, rigging and de-rigging the sails as well as steering. It helps them with self-discipline and how to work in a team.
Zoe Thompson has been sailing since the age of 8 and has been a certified Junior Sailing Ambassador for the past three years. She runs the Tackers Level one program.
“The best feeling is when I see my students succeed, no matter how big or small their achievement because I’ve seen them struggle when they start off… it feels worthwhile,” she says.
The program ’s accredited by Yachting Australia – each student receives their own Australian Sailing Log Book, Insurance, Workbook, and a Completion Certificate at the end of the course.
Children don’t need any prior knowledge to take part.
Sisters Hau Ying, 10 and Hei Yin, 12 jumped right into it after moving from Hong Kong a few months ago.
Hau Ying says the injury she got while rigging the boat and capsizing was worth it, because the entire morning was fun.
“My dad knew he didn’t want us to be home during the holidays so, he signed us up,” says Hau Ying.
“We were mad at first but after today, we’ll come back.”
Bevan Chiappini from East Fremantle is a returning sailor at the age of nine.
He says he was nervous at first, but had been inspired by his holiday house neighbour who has his own boat and used to take him sailing.
For more details, contact the East Fremantle Yacht Club at 9339 8111