In 2018, a great supporter of sail training for young people, Mr Keith Robinson, died in England. Donations made at his memorial service were given to Sail Training International (STI) by his family, and the Trustees of STI matched this to support a one-off bursary project for sixteen youth and three mentors from across the world to take part in the 2019 Tall Ships Races.
Tall Ships Australia and New Zealand (TANZ) contributed a further $1,500 from fundraising efforts to assist three local youth to take up this incredible opportunity, and asked tall ship operators in Australia and New Zealand to nominate trainees. The Leeuwin Ocean Adventure Foundation in Western Australia, Windeward Bound Trust in Tasmania and Spirit of Adventure Trust in New Zealand successfully nominated Cody McDermott, Jordan Ruth and Matis Ellehus, and contributed a further four thousand dollars which was matched by the same amount from the trainees. All told over thirteen thousand dollars was raised and our trainees are on their way to join the tall ship Gulden Leeuw in Europe.
On being awarded the bursary Leeuwin II volunteer Cody McDermott said, “The Tall Ships Races bring together so many different people from so many cultures, backgrounds and levels of experience with ships coming from Oman, Mexico, Europe, America, and Portugal. It’s a great big melting pot of people who all enjoy the hard life and the passion of working on tall ships. It’s an incredibly beautiful common ground to share with people!”
“The opportunity to see so many ships with different rigs, builds, materials, ages, is going to be incredibly eye opening. It’ll broaden my understanding of ships as a whole and expose me to new approaches to the things we do on Leeuwin.”
“There are things that Gulden Leeuw will do differently to Leeuwin, just as there are things that we do differently on Leeuwin to a lot of other ships. This new perspective will be really helpful for my personal career growth.”
“Leeuwin Ocean Adventure has been incredibly supportive in making this opportunity become a reality for me. The encouragement and support I received from staff and crew really helped me get to Europe and I know that the knowledge, skills and work ethic I have learnt from Leeuwin will help me in this new endeavour.”
Congratulations to Cody, Jordan and Matis and good luck for this amazing adventure!