2017 was a difficult year for the Izivunguvungu Sailing Programme, mainly because of security issues in the areas where the students live. Ocean View and Masiphumelele were particularly badly affected, which resulted in students having to be collected from outside of normal areas etc. There were days when they were not allowed out of the areas because of gang-related shooting etc. The community liaison teachers/parents assisted where possible.
Izivunguvungu once more took the SA Mirror National Championships with Marlon Jones and Matthew Frank (the previous Champion was Howard Leoto, also from Izivunguvungu). Four of our students travelled to the UK and were well placed in the Mirror Worlds (many thanks go to Grant Ackermann for his tremendous support to the teams).
Izivunguvungu also featured prominently in the L26 Nationals in Durban, with a 3rd place overall, although the highlight for us was Kenwyn Daniels claiming 2nd.
The sailing students received a special invitation from VOLVO during the stop-over at the V & A in Cape Town, including a lecture by various experts and a tour. We had previously been contacted by friends of sailing in Liverpool, England, and were treated to a tour of their #Liverpool Yacht which was part of the Clippers Fleet that had a stopover before heading to Australia.
There are plans to extend the Sailing programme in 2018 as there are many new students waiting. It is also intended to try to set up a skills development segment whereby students can acquire skills which they can utilise towards employment or self-employment, bearing in mind that up to 50% of 15 to 35 year olds are unemployed. This project would initially involve the development of woodworking skills, such as are already linked to boat repairs etc. Two of our students are or have been involved with related Courses at Westlake college, but the fees are very high and there is a requirement for a Matric pass.