The training day at Zeekoevlei was an eye-opener.
First, all the children from “Reach for a Dream” arrived, their faces lite up with excitement, joy, anticipation and curiosity that could not be contained. Although they couldn’t speak English that was no challenge to stop the fun-filled day of a movie, gifts, the sun, water and of course, sailing.
The kids were all bouncing with exhilaration. Greg was doing what he does best in the presence of children and giving them the opportunity to act/be sailors with fun authority. They marched in two rows shouting “LEFT”, “RIGHT”, “LEFT”, “RIGHT”, non-stop and the giggles could be heard everywhere.
They all put on their life jackets and got an instructional lesson on how to sail a GREAT but little Optimist dingy boat. They then marched with rhythm to get on a boat and sail. All the kids who were hesitant and couldn’t swim still jumped on, without a second thought.
While the children were enjoying a leisure sail, all the celebrities and survivors who were sailing in the Great Optimist Race on the 20th October 2018, started arriving. To be in their presence of humbleness was unforgettable. The team from the Little Optimist trust all got to meet and indulge in conversation with them; survivors, Hilton Swanson, Adam Klopper and Kevan Wright along with celebrities, Jean Michel, Arno Carstens, John Steenhuisen and Josie Borain.
All the celebrities and survivors thought sailing an optimist dingy wouldn’t be that challenging but they got a bit of a surprise with the maneuvering around in the dingy. After an instructional lesson, most of them set sail to the wind. Josie capsized after a few minutes and decided to take a slow relaxing swim back to shore. Laughter and smiles filled the atmosphere, and when the children’s sailing came to an end, there were wonderful gifts of the little optimist childrens book, as well as *crocs shoes and other treasurable goodies, along with a movie before they set off.
They all raved on about the experience. Sponsors and CEO’s joined in. Some accomplished the training instantly.
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