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Somerset Primary sails into yachting

Yachting at Somerset Primary School

Image: Sailing is a breeze at Somerset Primary School

Somerset Primary School on Tasmania’s north-west coastline has sailed into its Sporting Schools programme, deciding on a sport that gives students a taste for an activity they could continue outside of school.

Principal Mat Grining said the school chose the Discover Sailing programme through Wynyard Sailing Club because they wanted a non-traditional, recreational sport that families could enjoy.

The school had 30 children from Year one to six take part in the programme’s four two-hour sessions. They were able to take small three-person yachts out onto the Inglis River and learn about sailing terminology and equipment.

Mr Grining said the school found running an activity through a structured community-based sporting club created fantastic opportunities for the children and helped to create pathways for them to take sport outside of school and into their day to day lives.

“Any interest they have is sustainable and they can follow through after the programme is finished,” Mr Grining said.

“A number of children had indicated they wanted to continue with the sport after the Sporting Schools activity wound up, and their parents had been quite supportive,” he said.

Mr Grining said Sporting Schools was an excellent catalyst for Somerset Primary to help children think of sport and wellbeing as part of their lifestyles.

“We want there to be a really strong culture of healthy body and mind and being involved in structured physical and leisure activity — we see Sporting Schools as being a big part of that,” he said.

Mr Grining said having the option of running programmes before, during or after school was a real advantage. The school community had embraced after hours activities.

The school has since taken on the orienteering and tennis Sporting Schools programmes.

Sporting Schools is a $100 million Australian Government initiative to get more children playing more sport, before, during and after school. Want to run a sailing programme at your school? Check out all the details on the Australian Sailing page.

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