Merging academics and athletics at Oakcliff Sailing

Published on August 19th, 2020

Oakcliff Sailing, a high-performance training center in Oyster Bay, New York, will be partnering with US Performance Academy (USPA) to allow Oakcliff Saplings to take accredited high school classes while training full time on the Oakcliff campus.

College students looking to join the fall Sapling program will be integrated into the training while taking their individual college’s course loads. The Sapling program is Oakcliff Sailing’s offering for sailors who are considering sailing as a career.

Over the years, Oakcliff Sailing had explored formal accredited educational programs for trainees on campus, and now with many high schools and colleges going online for the fall semester due to COVID-19, this dream has become a reality.

Alongside USPA, Oakcliff’s programing is now an option for athletes with Olympic and professional dreams to take advantage of training opportunities that didn’t exist in the past and make the most of this extenuating circumstance.

“This is the ultimate way for us to turn the COVID-19 situation into an opportunity,” said Oakcliff Executive Director Dawn Riley. “This is the biggest thing in many years that bodes well for US athletes looking ahead to LA 2028.”

US Performance Academy is an accredited, NCAA approved, private online middle and high school program for young athletes with unique schedules due to high performance training. USPA allows students to create a pathway towards their personal, professional, and athletic goals while leveraging the latest technology for an on-the-go environment. The online curriculum allows for a flexible school schedule and academic calendar.

“With experience in the competitive sailing world as well as in education, I truly understand the struggle that young athletes face when balancing athletics and academics. The goal has always been to help create a solution for young athletes looking to excel in both areas. That is how USPA began.” said Pete Smith, President of US Performance Academy.

“The partnership with Oakcliff is a natural fit and combines the very best in both school and sailing. We look forward to seeing the student-athletes excel.”

Student athletes will follow a rigorous schedule blending on-the-water training, gym time, and life skills training, with a full course load from USPA. Oakcliff will take full advantage of their 100+ boat fleet, but the majority of training will focus on the 470 and Olympic skiffs.

Schedules and elective course work will be flexible depending on an individual Sapling’s interest and, as always with sailors, the wind conditions. An on-site Learning Coach will coordinate the study times for all athletes and provide academic assistance when needed.

For older high school students training at Oakcliff, the USPA curriculum includes ACT and SAT prep. There is also college application and essay assistance for those applying for college.

For the semester, the cost for students is $20,500 per high school student, $14,500 per college student, and $2,900 for conventional winter saplings. Tuition includes everything, from room and board, boat and sail usage and coaching to Triple Crown entry fees.

Compared to prices from other sports performance academies like IMG, Oakcliff and USPA’s price is a fraction of their cost. Students can choose from a number of courses and electives from USPA: click here.

In many states, families can receive tax credit towards tuition. Check with the rules in your individual state.

The Oakcliff campus has a strict “bubble” protocol (think the NBA), that keeps students and staff protected from exposure to the Coronavirus. All entrants into the bubble must quarantine and get a negative COVID test before their arrival on campus. Each also must sign an affidavit certifying they have had no COVID symptoms and have been tested. Check out the Bubble Protocol and Bunkhouse tour.

The semester begins September 9 and runs until Christmas break (December 18). Currently, there is only a plan for the fall semester, but this will be reevaluated come winter depending on interest and the COVID-19 situation.

Students who attend the program will have the option to continue enrollment with USPA for the spring semester even if Oakcliff does not host another semester at the campus, ensuring zero academic interruption and the ability to continue training anywhere in the world. To apply, click here.

Background:
• Oakcliff Sailing is a youth and adult training center for athletes who have progressed beyond traditional coaching methods and want to take the next step in their career. Located in Oyster Bay, New York they offer trainees a proving ground to develop their skill set and professional network in the three big areas of competitive sailing: the America’s Cup, the Olympics, and The Ocean Race. Oakcliff’s goal is to Build American Leaders Through Sailing.Oakcliff Sailing is a youth and adult training center for athletes who have progressed beyond traditional coaching methods and want to take the next step in their career. Located in Oyster Bay, New York they offer trainees a proving ground to develop their skill set and professional network in the three big areas of competitive sailing: the America’s Cup, the Olympics, and The Ocean Race. Oakcliff’s goal is to Build American Leaders Through Sailing. https://www.oakcliffsailing.org/

• USPA is an accredited, NCAA approved, private, online, middle & high school created for high-performance athletes. Designed by athletes and educators, the approach benefits driven students who are training, traveling, competing, and pushing to the next level. The online curriculum allows for a flexible school schedule and academic calendar. The support system keeps students involved, motivated, and on track to success. And the focus on the student-athletes future goals and aspirations opens up a doorway to future opportunities. https://gouspa.org/

Source: Oakcliff Sailing

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