Portage Ontario and the Broad Reach Foundation for Youth Leaders have partnered to offer youth in Elora’s Rehabilitation Centre a sailing initiation program. The goal is to allow young people who have lived though times to discover a unique activity in an exceptional setting.

Founded in 1998, Broad Reach Foundation for Youth Leaders is a registered charity built on partnerships with youth-serving agencies in the Toronto community. Offering the only free program for at-risk youth, aged 13 – 24, that combines building life skills, job training and sailing on board one of their fleet of 35’ – 40’ sailboats, the foundation has introduced life skills education through sailing to over 3,500 young people.

Their specially structured sailing programs promote physical activity and exposes young people to a social environment that they may not otherwise have the opportunity to encounter and enjoy.

With common goals such as building self-esteem, confidence, problem solving, reliability and responsibility in the youth they each serve; Portage Ontario and Broad Reach Foundation partnered to make available the unique sailing program to the youth in Portage’s aftercare program over the summer.

Several of the young men and women from Portage attended the sailing lessons over the weekends. They also earned their small pleasure craft license. This was an opportunity they might never have experienced.

The program is expected to continue next year.

2 Responses to “Portage Youth learn seamanship over the summer!”

  1. Judy Briggs Bengtsson

    I volunteered on a tall ship (125ft) for four years as cook (and general factotum) on the North Sea between Sweden,Denmark and Norway in theKattegat and North Sea. I am too old now, but this is a wonderful way to introduce young people to experiences that they would never have. We had different courses for different ages, but mainly for 15 to 18yearolds.

  2. randall withell

    iN I only experienced sailing for a brief period of time: I was on kyacks, I was on skiffs, I was on dinghys. It gave me a sense of adventure, a sense of confidence, a sense of possibilities that were waiting for me – which I didn’t even know! May Portage & Broad Reach continue to offer youth an experience which is all about strength, smiles, & solidarity! Water allows us to live; water allows us to grow; and yes, water allows us to express ourselves in ways that no one other element possibly could. Sail the waters; sail our lives!


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