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Marlow 2020 Blue Ocean Doublebraid - LEADERBOARD

Sailing program sets a new course for Veterans

by David Royle 27 Sep 2019 03:30 BST
Setting New Course © CYCSA

Five South Australian veterans are preparing to take to the high seas thanks to an innovative program offered by The Road Home and the Cruising Yacht Club of South Australia aimed at developing sailing skills while building confidence and social connections.

Thanks to the support of Senator David Fawcett, major sponsor Northrop Grumman Australia and supporting sponsors Raytheon Australia and SAAB Australia, the program Setting a New Course offers current or former serving Australian Defence Force (ADF) personnel with little to no sailing experience the opportunity to undertake a five day Accredited Royal Yachting Association (RYA) sailing program.

"This is an exceptional opportunity for veterans to challenge themselves, learn a new skill and experience the satisfaction and connection that comes from working as a team - it's the one thing that many former defence personnel miss when they leave service", says The Road Home's Wellbeing Coordinator Mark Reidy.

Course participant Darren Wilcox agrees. "I am hoping through this program to get back to the sociable person I used to be. The course offers a strong, small team experience and I hope that skills I gain will help me to set a new course in both by personal and professional career."

The course consists of a two-day Start Yachting component, followed by a three day live in-sail component incorporating sailing in the Gulf St Vincent and several safe harbours around Adelaide. At the completion of the course, participants will receive the qualification of Competent Crew, which will enable to them to not only crew in a yacht but also work as a team to respond to unplanned events and make a safe passage home.

"The CYCSA is very proud to be associated with this fantastic program. Senator David Fawcett, CYCSA Marine Academy Principal David Royle, along with the essential assistance of three outstanding sponsors have created, through use of one of our most popular courses an initiative which will assist participants in a very worthwhile and positive impacting manner", says The Cruising Yacht Club of South Australia's General Manager Adam Hays.

The five participants for the inaugural course are former members of the Royal Australian Navy, Australian Army and Royal Australian Air Force who have had challenges with Post-Traumatic Stress and mental health.

Premier of South Australia Steven Marshall will officially launch the program at a breakfast event on Saturday 21 September at 8.00am at the Cruising Yacht Club of South Australia.