Buoyed Up, based on the Tackers initiative, is a special introductory sailing program designed to provide vulnerable young people aged 7-12 years with a fun, confidence building sailing experience.
This project aims to continue the great work of the past introducing a new school into the already established ones to deliver special targeted programs for kids from disadvantaged backgrounds to better educational and behavioural at school and at home.
The program aims to:
This is achieved through encouraging and promoting fun and games while learning new skills. The games include on-water treasure hunts, being towed by a motor boat, paddling games and on-water ball games.
Safety is paramount and youth typically work in pairs in small boats that are supervised by a team of highly qualified instructors.
The schools participating in Buoyed Up are located in Canberra’s three most vulnerable districts: Tuggeranong, Gungahlin and Belconnen. According to the Australian Early Development Index, suburbs in these three districts have the highest percentages of children who are developmentally vulnerable in the ACT in one or more domains: physical health and wellbeing, social competence, emotional maturity, language and cognitive skills, and communication skills and general knowledge. Children in Tuggeranong are assessed as the most developmentally vulnerable with 25 per cent assessed as vulnerable in one or more domains and 11 per cent vulnerable in two or more domains.
Buoyed Up is more than a ‘one-off’ experience as it provides participants with long-term sailing pathways that range from participation, skills development, competition and performance. Once young people graduate from the three-year Buoyed Up program, they can progress their sailing skills in a Youth Racing Squad through a scholarship fund established by the Canberra Yacht Club which covers the complete cost of transport, boats, equipment, clothing and coaching. From here, participants can progress onto competitive Regatta sailing at the State and National levels.
Aside from sailing skills and pathways, the outcomes of the program extend to young people gaining more confidence in their ability to pursue new initiatives, overcome challenges and master new skills. The program helps to provide participants with increased levels of self assurance and optimism that can potentially lead to rewarding employment and leadership pathways.