Inspiring youth for global change

Published on June 8th, 2019

Our planet cannot continue to consume the trash in the manner we are creating it, and a disrespect to the environment has exacerbated the situation. But changing habits is hard, and while the current generation wrestles with new practices, it is incumbent for young people to be raised with them.

An initiative led by the World Sailing Trust, the charitable arm of World Sailing, and the Ocean Heroes team, will seek to do this by delivering youth sustainability training at the 2019 Hempel Youth Sailing World Championships in Gdynia, Poland.

The Championships, held from July 13 to 20, will see the delivery of the Ocean Heroes training program to the 415 competitors from 67 nations to activate them in stemming the flow of plastic pollution into the world’s oceans.

Comprised of three core partners – Captain Planet Foundation, Lonely Whale, and Point Break Foundation – the Ocean Heroes team aim to provide young people, passionate about the oceans, with the knowledge, skills, and support to become effective advocates and campaigners in solving the global ocean plastics crisis.

The partnership between the World Sailing Trust and Ocean Heroes will enable both parties to reach the sailors competing at the Hempel Youth Worlds, who regular participate in the sport and have a close relationship with the marine environment.

Ahead of the Hempel Youth Worlds, World Sailing, the World Sailing Trust and the Ocean Heroes team will develop a bespoke version of the online Ocean Heroes Bootcamp platform and called, World Sailing’s Ocean Heroes ToolKit. The platform, which will also be available to download, will be delivered at the Emerging Nations Program clinic ahead of the event.

World Sailing’s Ocean Heroes ToolKit will include information on how sailors can make a change and apply pressure on the system to move away from single use plastic. Three strategies for change are covered including:

Demand-side / behavior change
• Convincing others to say no to single-use plastic items and finding reusable alternatives;
• Building demand for events and sailing clubs to go plastic-free through pledges and petitions.

• Convincing clubs, associations and events to provide alternatives to single-use plastic such as water filling stations and non-plastic wrapped food items
• Incentivizing the use of re-usables. For example: providing discounts in cafes to bringing reusable cups

Policies and rules
• Convincing their national and regional sailing associations to eliminate single-use plastic from sanctioned events

Up to 20 sailors from emerging sailing nations will receive training and guidance on how they can make a difference to sailing’s contribution to global sustainability before the platform is made available to the remaining sailors thereafter.

The platform would then be available as a resource for World Sailing’s ongoing use as a way of contributing to one of World Sailing’s Agenda 2030 targets as well as supporting the United Nations ‘Clean Seas’ initiative that World Sailing joined with the International Olympic Committee.

Dee Caffari, Chair of the World Sailing Trust, said, “At the 2018 Youth Worlds in Corpus Christi, USA, the event had a sustainability focus and set a benchmark for sustainability at World Sailing events. 96% of surveyed participants said they wanted to see sustainability initiatives at sailing events they participated in.

“The partnership between the World Sailing Trust and Ocean Heroes builds on the sailors’ enthusiasm. We hope to continue to inspire them to make a difference globally and with support of partners such as Ocean Heroes, we’ll have a strong and stable network for them to become ocean advocates and continue initiatives within their home country after the event.”

For more on the World Sailing Trust… click here.

Learn more on the Captain Planet Foundation and the Ocean Heroes Bootcamp.

Source: World Sailing Trust, Scuttlebutt

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