Children from a variety of Cape Town charity groups experienced the joy of sailing for the first time at the Zeekoe Vlei Yacht Club this weekend.
Reach for a Dream, St Joseph’s Home and the 9 Miles Project were three of the children’s groups that participated in The Little Optimist Sailing, Training and Therapy Day on Saturday. The youngsters were shown the basics of sailing an Optimist (a small children’s dinghy), had fun on the water, and listened to charity campaigner Greg Bertish tell his inspirational story of thriving despite the odds.
“Some of the children have never experienced this kind of thing,” said Felicity Mbambani of St Joseph’s. “Many kids return to their homes for the holidays but some can’t and have to stay behind. So an event like this really means a lot to them.”
Celebrities and medical survivors, including singer Majozi and double lung transplant recipient Tanya Bothma, were also given the opportunity to get up close and personal with an Optimist. The training was in preparation for their participation in The Great Optimist Race, one of the most unique charity events of the year.
The Great Optimist Race, which will be held at the Cape Town International Boat Show on 19 October, involves 40 celebrities, corporates, charities and medical survivors navigating the V&A Waterfront harbour waters in Optimists. The participants will be racing each other to see who can cross the finish line first, as well as competing to raise the most money for their chosen charity and the Little Optimist Trust.
“Our mission is to raise as much money as possible, so that we can continue to spread our story of hope to help children survive and thrive,” says Bertish.
The Cape Town International Boat show runs from 18-20 October this year. The Great Optimist Race will also be supported by The Little Optimist’s key sponsors – Two Oceans Marine, Italtile and Ullman Sails.