Smooth sailing at the Optimist Sailing Academy

Smooth sailing at the Optimist Sailing Academy

At The Little Optimist Trust we are passionate about sailing therapy and our presence at The Cape Town International Boat Show was another opportunity for us to bring kids down to the water and get them sailing. We hosted children from Reach for a Dream, 9 Miles Project, STS Lawhill Maritime Academy, St.Joseph’s Home and Rotary. According to the Royal Yachting Association sailing is a powerful tool for children and helps to develop key character attributes:
– Creativity
– Teamwork
– Determination
– Communication
– Independence
– Confidence
All of our little guests who attended The Little Optimist Sailing Academy were either facing health challenges or difficult economic and social circumstances at home. Learning these key attributes empowers them to face their challenges head on and learn that small people can do HUGE things.
They thoroughly enjoyed their time on the water, their faces lighting up as they embraced the experience. One of our little guests was petrified of the water but after being coaxed in to a boat, we couldn’t get him out again! 
Thank You to the Two Oceans Aquarium who spoilt each youngster with a free entry, to Primi Waterfront for the delicious pizzas and to Milky Lane for the great ice cream treats, a perfect end to a perfect day.
Celebs to hit the high seas for local good causes

Celebs to hit the high seas for local good causes

CapeTalk’s Pippa Hudson is one of the celebrities taking part in this year’s Great Optimist Race in Cape Town.

Dozens of celebrities and medical survivors will be taking to the high seas later this month for the annual Great Optimist Race in Cape Town.

The competitors – including CapeTalk’s Pippa Hudson – will navigate the open waters of the V&A Waterfront in their ‘Optimists’ – tiny sailboats.

They’ll be raising money for their chosen charities and the Little Optimist Trust.

One of those taking part is double-lung transplant patient Tanya Bothma.

Every day I get up I thank my donor, I thank my donor’s family…I have so much to be grateful for!

Tanya Bothma

Since I got my double-lung transplant all I want to do is give back.

Tanya Bothma

The race gets underway at 12pm on 19 October and you can click here to back a boat and help raise money for charity.

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