Story Telling

Story Telling

Storytelling is what we do …. thank you.

Surfer and sailor, Greg Bertish wrote a children’s book “The Little Optimist” about a little believer (a dinghy) with a big and courageous heart. He hoped it would teach children that being small, sick, poor or different was OK. The story is rooted in his own experience when he spent 200 hundred days in hospital between 2001 and 2007. He had several open heart surgeries whilst fighting a life threatening and reoccuring heart infection. For every book that is sold, one is donated to a sick or needy child. Greg showed great courage when he set off in a dinghy and sailed around the dangerous Cape of Storms, across False Bay, around Cape Point finishing 200 kilometers later in Langebaan Lagoon – all in an effort to raise money for Red Cross Children’s hospital. He has raised millions of rands through his dedication to six charities close to his heart. When it comes to talking to children, he always finds the time.

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Little Optimist receives international charity award

Little Optimist receives international charity award

Dutch exhibition group METSTRADE has chosen Cape Town charity campaigner Greg Bertish and his team at the Little Optimist Trust as the 2019 recipient of the DAME global charity award.

Each year METSTRADE, the world’s largest leisure marine equipment show, awards the sum of all exhibitors’ registration fees to a chosen charity.  This year The Little Optimist Trust was chosen from hundreds of applicants, along with Sailing4handicaps, an international organisation that creates prosthetic legs for people in developing countries.  The two charities will split the award equally.

Bertish, whose goal is to inspire ill and impoverished children, says the funds will go towards building a base for his sailing academy in Cape Town.

“It’s so fantastic to be recognised by an international organisation such as DAME. This award and funding will help The Little Optimist Trust to inspire and help even more kids. I feel like a proud father,” says Bertish.

“These children don’t have any money for a day out, so we pay a fortune to get all the children safely to us. Now we can build a base and an academy next to the Zeekoe Vlei Yacht Club. We can have stands to put our Optimists in and we’ll be ready to go sailing in no time. Being selected as one of the two DAME Charities really is an honor and will make a huge difference to our foundation and these kids.”

Bertish will travel to the METSTRADE show in Amsterdam from 19-21 November this year to receive the awards.

About the DAME Design AwardThe DAME Design Award has been an important part of the METSTRADE Show for years. It is the most significant marine equipment competition of its kind, anywhere in the world. Exhibitors can enter the DAME Award from mid-July, allowing them to show off their latest marine equipment innovation. The application deadline is mid-September, and all entry fees will be donated to help Sailing4handicaps and the Little Optimist Trust.


Amy Mac Iver 082 884 6233Bridget Pringle 083 291 6190