A survey carried out by the R. Tucker Thompson Sail Training Trust based in Paihia has confirmed the trust’s sail training programme develops confidence, builds teamwork and enhances leadership skills.
Based on feedback from students and parents for the past four years, the results were overwhelmingly positive with all students saying they received some benefit from the voyage. Nearly all parents agreed, with 98.7 per cent saying their child benefited.
The survey indicated that often the effects are long term, and some are life changing. Students themselves recognised the benefits, particularly in terms of gaining confidence to try new things and give something a go. The survey confirmed the “Tucker” experience resulted in increased confidence levels across a wide range of situations ranging from getting on with a group of strangers through to working with others on a common goal.
“The Trust receives no Government funding relying on donations, grants and sponsorships to keep these voyages affordable for students,” trust chair Mike Daniel says.
“Surpluses from our summer tourism activities go towards subsidising the sail training activities, but this is nowhere near enough to run a full programme of 16 voyages a year, which is our goal. Every dollar donated goes directly to supporting these voyages and nothing else.
“We know these voyages work, but the results of the survey will give comfort to existing financial supporters, and those considering helping us, send 144 young Northlanders on 16 life-changing voyages every winter.”
The R. Tucker Thompson Sail Training Trust delivers its programmes to students from the Northland region, an area of high need due to high unemployment, low average wages and low educational achievement. Over 45 per cent of schools in Northland are rated as decile 1 or decile 2 and 81 per cent of schools are rated decile 5 or below. Significant poverty exists in many areas and consequently students have very limited opportunity to access programmes of this nature. For this reason, the voyages make a big difference.
Key findings from the survey were as follows:
• 100 per cent of students stated they got some benefit from the voyage, 91.9 per cent indicating it was a great deal or a lot.
• 98.7 per cent of parents believed their child benefited from the voyage.
• 96 per cent of parents believed their child’s confidence had improved as the result of the voyage.
• 75 per cent of students felt confident or very confident taking on a leadership role following the voyage, compared to 38.9 per cent prior.
• 78.8 per cent of students felt they were confident or very confident working with others to achieve a common goal after the voyage, compared to 25 per cent prior.
• 77 per cent of students felt they were confident or very confident meeting new people following the voyage compared to 25 per cent prior to the voyage.
For the full copy of the survey, please download it from http://tucker.co.nz/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/RTT-2014-Sail-training-survey.pdf