Let’s get excited — Volvo adrenalin starts to flow as schools programme is set to launch

With just 167 days until the Volvo Ocean Race hits Galway, DECLAN VARLEY brings you a weekly brief of what’s happening in sailing’s Everest.

Schools around the west will be able to get caught up in the excitement and drama of the Volvo Ocean Race through the Ocean Explorers programme being overseen by the race finale organisers.

The youth education schools programme aka Ocean Explorers is part of the Volvo Ocean Race Galway 2012 and is aimed specifically at children and young adults ranging from eight to 18 years old via www.ocean explorers.ie The programme aims to educate young people through the Ocean Explorers tag line of; Let’s Do, Let’s Think, Let’s Talk. It will engage them in the excitement and adventure of the Volvo Ocean Race which has a unique global reach, with stopovers in Asia, North and South America, Africa and Europe.

So far, the programme has seen several Galway schools receive visits from Harbourmaster Captain Brian Sheridan and from the Volvo Ocean Race trophy and it has set their young hearts aflutter with just 167 days left until the race arrives in Galway.

Michelle McCarra, from Scoil Rois National School is thrilled that her school has become involved in the programme. The children were very excited to have the Volvo back, they learnt so much following it online last time and were delighted to welcome both the Trophy and Captain Brian Sheridan to Scoil Rois National School.”

The visit of Captain Sheridan caused great excitement and is very enthusiastic about the programme’s capacity to educate children in a seaboard city about all things marine.

‘The Volvo Ocean Race has proved to be the required springboard for Galway school children to hook up with all things nautical that can be found as part of the Youth Education Programme.

“The Ocean Explorers is a great platform for school children to learn about the oceans, how important they are to us as humans and the need to us to mind, cherish and protect all things that happen in the deep.

“With the development of the port, the upcoming generation of school goers will be the creative and innovative minds of 21st century Ireland, and we have an opportunity to lead the way in cruise tourism, ocean energy and marine research in Galway,” he said.

The purpose of the programme is to:

— Introduce young people to the sport of sailing

— Introduce them to the areas of learning associated with the marine world including the sport of sailing, climate, technology, geography, history and the marine environment

— Get them involved and interested in organisations such as the ISA (Irish Sailing Association ), Irish Water Safety, local sailing clubs, Ocean Youth Trust Ireland, the Marine Institute, the Irish Navy, Local Harbour Companies

— Help them understand and appreciate the development of marine tourism activities in Ireland

— Introduce them to the range of options available for careers in the marine industry

The programme will reach 4,000 primary and secondary schools, more than 800,000 students, youth organisations, sports and sailing clubs

The Youth Education Programme has been developed for young people aged under 18 years old to introduce them to the sport of sailing, the ocean environment and the Volvo Ocean Race 2011-2012 stopover locations. The programme lesson plans are entirely web-based to be inclusive to young people as either individuals or via their schools, youth or community groups; teachers in primary and secondary schools and youth leaders

The lesson plans are available for two age groups — those under 12 and those over 12 years old.

Lessons plans will be delivered, the first by the website launch and then as the boats reach each of stopover locations as per the route map. Each lesson will take one of the themes of Global village - Food, Innovation, Green or Marine and is structured into three components:

Let's Think - Introduction to the lesson themes by the parent, teacher or youth leader

Let's Talk - Guided discussion on the lesson themes.

Let's Do - Activities to be followed up on.


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