What we do

Sailing Academy


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 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, movement, environment, conservation)
  • Experience of pleasure   (dopamine, oxytocin, serotonin, and endorphins – the bodies happy/healing chemicals)
  • Comradery with other participants

Our Academy

Based at Zeekoevlei Yacht Club , Cape Town , South Africa

We have 32 Optimist Dinghies, and use Pico’s, Mirrors and Saldhanas to offer our little sailors a fantastic experience, a new skill and the ultimate passion.

Over 90 % of our attendees are from previously disadvantaged backgrounds.

We hope to expand our Sailing Therapy programs to other parts of South Africa over the next few years.


Sailing therapy underway


Some of the articles on the amazing work we have done!

Renovate and Paint

Renovating and painting buildings.

Our aim is identify key renovation projects and create safe spaces for children.

The Little Optimist Trust identifies key renovation projects to target each year. By renovating and or painting places of healing we create a lasting positive effect on kid’s lives.

Murals create a fun and happy atmosphere that could be otherwise dull and depressing. Upgrading facilities give children a sense of pride which in turns encourages them to thrive.