What we do
SAILING THERAPY – the Little Optimist Sailing Academy
Our aim is to use the exposure to SAILING as a means to facilitate healing (both mental and physical), as well as to enhance wellbeing and quality of life.
We believe our Sailing Therapy experiences and programs play a key role in helping kids who are compromised either health or socio-economically wise, to overcome their physical and mental hardships.
Studies have shown that similar types of activity, have resulted in the improvement in motor skills and coordination, self-confidence, independence, identity formation, focus, and pride through accomplishment.
We use sailing to show that the benefits of this therapeutic and recreational rehabilitative activity, can offer all of the above as well as the experience of adventure, mobility, and freedom.
Using Therapeutic mechanisms, we believe we can and do offer:
- Enhanced self-efficacy from learning and mastery of new skills (if includes sailing instruction)
- Exposure to nature (wind, water and ocean health, environment, plastic pollution, conservation)
- Experience of pleasure (dopamine, oxytocin, serotonin, and endorphins – the bodies happy/healing chemicals)
- Introduction to water safety and drowning prevention
- Comradery with other participants
Our Sailing Therapy Academy
Our unique program is specially designed for and aimed at the most marginalised kids (health-wise and socio-economic). We introduce kids who would never have this type of opportunity to an experience, fun and skills building. These Sailing Experiences and Therapy days also focus on teachings around Ocean Health, Plastic Pollution, water safety and the Growth Mindset. Kids leave empowered and optimistic, and full of renewed confidence, hope and feelings of self-worth.
We use Optimist Dinghies and the teachings of The Little Optimist, to offer our little sailors a fantastic experience, new skills and the ultimate passion.
Over 90 % of our attendees are from previously disadvantaged backgrounds and all are compromised economically or health-wise.
We hope to expand our Sailing Therapy programs to other parts of South Africa over the next few years.