Buoyed Up with Tackers, is an initiative which assists vulnerable, at-risk primary school children aged 7-12 years to participate in the Tackers Junior Sailing program as a way to build confidence, self-esteem and engage in an active lifestyle.

The program provides children from disadvantaged backgrounds with a unique fun-based opportunity that will enhance their general life skills and capabilities. Children participate in all three levels of the Tackers program over a multi week program as a special excursion during the school day. Providing the complete Tackers Pathway is important in developing skills and allowing participants to transition into club membership and ongoing participation in sailing.

The program is currently run through a number of Canberra public schools in Term 1 and Term 4. Instructors and all equipment, including the boats, life jackets and support powerboats are provided by the Canberra Yacht Club, as well as insurance and temporary Club Membership for each participant. Transport between the School and Yacht Club is organised by Canberra Yacht Club. There is no cost to the school or students for participation.

Started in the ACT in 2012, Communities@Work, the Canberra Yacht Club, Yachting Australia and the Sir Thomas Lipton Foundation established a model for the development of the program, which has delivered this life skill building program to over 1,500 of Canberra’s young children.

The program’s long-term aim is to train interested, motivated participants up as Assistant Instructors and Instructors, offering options for a vocational pathway or part-time employment.

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