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Spithill kicks off ORACLE TEAM USA school visits

by Peter Rusch 30 Nov 2016 12:44 GMT 28 November 2016

ORACLE TEAM USA skipper Jimmy Spithill addressed a school assembly at T.N. Tatem Middle School in Bermuda on Monday morning, the first of eight visits the team will make covering each of the public schools on the island.

T.N. Tatem has recently taken part in the America's Cup Endeavour program with over 130 middle school students learning about STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, Math) curriculum subjects in the context of sailing and taking to the waters of Bermuda's Great Sound to put the theory into practice. As well, the students have sessions on health, physical education and nutrition from ORACLE TEAM USA experts.

"The America's Cup Endeavour program is all about education and experience," Spithill said. "Now, being able to go around and check in with the schools in Bermuda, talk to them about the America's Cup and our personal experiences and lessons learned as we developed as athletes and people, is a great opportunity for us."

Spithill, who grew up on an island outside Sydney, Australia, told the T.N. Tatem students about some of the lessons he learned on the way to becoming the youngest skipper in history to win the America's Cup.

"First of all, don't let anyone tell you can't do anything," he said. "Dream big. For me, the America's Cup was my dream, but whatever your dream is, believe that you can do it.

"Secondly, there's no shortcut. It's going to take a lot of hard work to achieve your goal. Whether it's in sport, or in life, working hard and being prepared sets you up for success. You've all experienced that already. The test that you studied hardest for, or the sport where you practiced more before the big game, those were the ones where you were more successful."

Spithill went on to speak about the importance of teamwork, pointing out that ORACLE TEAM USA has over 80 people on its team, only 6 of whom will sail in a race. The support from the rest of the team is a critical factor to the success of the team. He urged the students to work together to achieve their goals.

For the second consecutive school year, ORACLE TEAM USA will visit all eight public middle schools in Bermuda, speaking at school assemblies. The team also hosts America's Cup Endeavour students at its base every Friday morning, teaching the kids about health, physical fitness and nutrition.

Last week, ORACLE TEAM USA completed a handover of a second batch of 15 refurbished Optimist dinghies. In total, the team has now brought 30 Optimist dinghies, rescued from the scrap heap in various states of disrepair, up to 'better than new' condition, and donated them to local programs in support of youth sailing and education.

"We're so appreciative of the welcome we've had since we've moved to Bermuda," Spithill said. "For us, this is way to give back by contributing to youth education and sailing programs alongside America's Cup Endeavour."

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