Green Dragon opens up a new world for Galway students

Galway schools will have an opportunity to follow Ireland’s Green Dragon in this year’s Volvo Ocean Race with a specially structured educational programme.

The learning programme is based around the Volvo Ocean Race Galway stopover 2009 and the Green Dragon team, providing school children with an introduction to the world of sailing.

Launched recently in Dublin by Minister of Education & Science, Batt O'Keeffe TD, the syllabus focuses on sailing, climate, technology, geography, history, and the marine environment.

Galway’s Enda O’Coineen, the chairman of Let's Do It Global who are the organisers of Green Dragon and the Galway stopover, says the programme will also help students understand and appreciate the development of marine tourism activities in Ireland, and the range of options available for careers in the marine industry.

“Top Irish sailors Damian Foxall and Justin Slattery, who are both currently onboard Green Dragon, have both stated that 20 years ago NCB Ireland in the Whitbread Race was their inspiration. We have developed this programme to create a similar legacy.”

And according to Minister O'Keeffe it is “fantastic for our youth to have the inspiration of a world-class team to follow and to learn as they sail around the world”.

“As an island nation we need to maximise maritime opportunities and this programme offers students an opportunity to learn from an early age specific areas such as climate, technology, and geography,” he says.

The primary delivery mechanism for the programme will be through an interactive website www.letsdoitschools.com <http://www.letsdoitschools.com/> which will be supplemented by supporting material and culminates in a visit to the Galway stopover and an opportunity to try sailing. Participants will have the opportunity to follow the race by subscribing to a variety of podcasts and newsfeeds, follow the crew, receive news updates, become a virtual spectator of 'life on board' and weather systems.

The schools programme is aimed at teachers, parents, and students in primary and secondary schools throughout Ireland. Sailing club junior members and youth clubs throughout the country are also encouraged to sign up online at www.letsdoitschools.com <http://www.letsdoitschools.com/>

The Ocean Adventure Schools Programme 2008-2009 is sponsored by HB, Irish Independent, and Volvo Cars Ireland.

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