Jan 11, 2018

Broad ReachIn 2018, the Broad Reach Foundation for Youth Leaders will be celebrating its twentieth anniversary, with a goal of engaging 500 disadvantaged youth and increasing organizational sustainability. We are asking our sailing community to support us: the kids need that support and if sailors won’t then who will?

Through your donations of time, money and ideas, you will help bring the value of these experiences with the wind, waves and water to those youth who often know only the value of poverty and the street.

Every time a boat slips away from the wall, sails raised, lines tightened, there is a sense of adventure, an air of anticipation and excitement – especially for the youth who has never stepped aboard a boat before, never worn a life-jacket, and never heard the words bow or stern, port or starboard.

Broad Reach Canoe

Since 1998, the Broad Reach Foundation for Youth Leaders, a bona fide Canadian registered charity, has been engaging youth from disadvantaged communities in sailing, free of charge to all kids. Experiencing sailing on a large, 40 ft. keelboat, the youth gain life-long skills and knowledge and benefit from positive role models and greater social belonging.

As the only Ontario charity fostering youth development through the sport and science of sailing, with the support of genuinely committed volunteers Broad Reach involved 397 kids in the 2017 afloat programming, a record since 1998 when we began with 20 youth.

Broad Reach 2Many of the youth come from difficult circumstances: homeless shelters, vulnerable neighbourhoods and drop-in centres. Some of them have never even seen Lake Ontario even though they live in Toronto.

Sailing Broad Reach boats, the youth encounter challenges out of their comfort zone, initially uneasy they grow curious, confident but careful learning from this experience that they have potential and courage.

As in life, everything is in motion. Prepare to tack! As in life, everything is unpredictable. Haul in that jib! This new surrounding world which the kids are discovering leads them to discover a new world within them – physical stamina, leadership, team-building and a sense of exuberance and excitement that lifts spirits, opens possibilities, and reveals promising qualities. Qualities that some kids may have not even known that they have.

While our co-ed Summer Afloat Program is the core of the Broad Reach experience, in 2016 we received substantial funding from the Federal Government for Project Coastline, as part of Canada’s celebrations for our 150th Anniversary.

The Project’s activities engaged over 2,000 youth in Nova Scotia, Quebec, and Ontario, through school events, V.I.P. presentations, engagement with First Nations, discovery of our marine heritage and the 202,080 km of Canada’s coastline.

Youth were also engaged in the building of a Legacy Canoe in Toronto and a Mirror dinghy on the Gaspé Coast to create a sense of recognition and appreciation for the heritage of the First Nations, and the importance of water.

Broad Reach 3

In October, 2017, the Legacy Canoe was honoured on Parliament Hill by over a thousand visitors, tourists, Members of Parliament, and First Nations’ peoples.

To discover how Project Coastline has motivated youth to share and explore the world of wind, wave and water that surrounds us, for an amazing 202,800 kilometres, visit our website and Facebook page.

And for every young woman who ever wanted to be as bold and confident as a pirate, Broad Reach provides theAnne Bonny Project!

Supported by the Ontario Ministry of Sport, this imaginative afloat and ashore project, engages young women 13-24 years old,with a unique learning experience. Based on a five-session curriculum including aspects of leadership, physical fitness, cognitive development and fun, the kids engage in a hands-on experience putting those skills into action in the Summer Afloat Program challenging the boys as Anne Bonny would!

-Marguerite Pyron
https://www.sailbroadreach.ca/

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