Come Sail with Us!

Based at Battery Park, V&A Waterfront, Cape Town, South Africa

Keeping Hope Afloat

We use Optimist Dinghies and the teachings of The Little Optimist, to offer our little sailors an opportunity, a fantastic experience,  new skills, and the ultimate passion.

Our unique Sailing Therapy Programs are specially designed for and aimed at the most marginalised of kids (less abled, under-resourced, less included). We introduce these children to the ocean and sailing, and the therapeutic properties and possibilities around it.

These are children who would normally have no access or opportunity to access this type of experience or program. We aim to break down the barriers of entry and create inclusiveness into the marine and sailing industry. They learn to sail, learn about their environment and the oceans around them, as well as about safety around water and other skills and teachings based on the growth mindset.

All kids leave empowered, optimistic, and full of renewed confidence and with a passion for the ocean and sailing. Our multi-week programs are being developed to offer further skills development and a pathway for at-risk and less included youth to be able to gain access, education, and employment in the marine and sailing industry.

Along with our programmes, we also offer LEARN TO SAIL courses that are open to the public and are aimed at those more fortunate kids. Each Booking helps to sponsor a less fortunate child on one of our Sailing Therapy Programs.

Book your kid or your next team build, or sponsor a marginalised child or group and help us make more impact.

Over 90 % of our program attendees are from previously disadvantaged backgrounds and all are compromised economically or health-wise.

The Little optimist Trust is a registered Trust, NPO, PBO and has a section 18a tax exemption

Our aim is to use the exposure to SAILING as a means to facilitate healing (both mental and physical), as well as to enhance wellbeing and quality of life.

How sailing therapy helps

We believe our Sailing Therapy experiences and programs play a key role in helping kids who are compromised either health or socio-economically wise, to overcome their physical and mental hardships.

Studies have shown that similar types of activity, have resulted in the improvement in motor skills and coordination, self-confidence, independence, identity formation, focus, and pride through accomplishment.

We use sailing to show that the benefits of this therapeutic and recreational rehabilitative activity,  can offer all of the above as well as the experience of adventure, mobility, and freedom.

Using Therapeutic mechanisms, we believe we can and do offer:

  • Enhanced self-efficacy from learning and mastery of new skills (if includes sailing instruction)
  • Exposure to nature (wind, water and ocean health, environment, plastic pollution,  conservation)
  • Experience of pleasure   (dopamine, oxytocin, serotonin, and endorphins – the bodies happy/healing chemicals)
  • Introduction to water safety and drowning prevention
  • Comradery with other participants

Trust Sponsors

Partners / Sponsors

What the children experience

Learn a new skill

We teach kids the science of sailing through our Fun , experiential and practical on the water sailing and classroom sessions.

Safety is #1

Learn to sail with qualified sailing instructors, in a safe and controlled environment.  And at the same time, learn about water safety and the environment around you.

Trusted for years

The Little Optimist Trust has been inspiring and teaching kids since 2017.

Affordable fun!

Learn the basics of sailing and a new skill in less than a day and all for a small donation that will go towards sponsoring a child in need.