ICOYC Youth Exchange Program

This story starts in September 2016, when Royal Danish Yacht Club (KDY) organized and hosted the 2016 ICOYC World Forum in Rungsted, on the shores of Øresund, north of Copenhagen.

Per the Forum Agenda, then-ICOYC President and Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron Commodore Andy Anderson suggested that the ICOYC should foster and support creating travel and sailing opportunities for the young members of ICOYC Member Clubs, and a program should be developed to achieve that objective.

A group of ICOYC Member Club delegates gathered in one of the meeting rooms of the Rungstedgaard conference hotel to discuss and evaluate the details of such a program. Following deliberations, and subsequent discussions at their home Clubs, a program was developed, agreed upon, and implemented. The ICOYC Youth Exchange was created.

Thus far, in a number of Clubs it seems that the program has met with limited interest by young people and their parents. At least, this has been the case at the Norddeutscher Regatta Verein (NRV) in Hamburg, Germany.

However, a recent high school graduate has opted to take advantage of this great program. The young member of NRV, before commencing with his studies at university, wanted to spend time abroad in Australia or New Zealand to expand and his English language skills and venture out to new horizons.

This young man is a keen sailor and has also successfully worked as a sail training coach at the NRV with coaching credentials issued by the Deutscher Olympischer Sport Bund (German Olympic Sports Association) certifying him as a DOSB-Trainer C Leistungssport.

In order to explore the options available to him, he approached the team at NRV and asked for assistance in making this connection. NRV contacted the Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron (RSYS), a participating Club in the program and where a previous junior NRV Member had spent some time several years ago.

RSYS Commodore Christian Brook responded quickly and positively, and helped to put the young man in contact with RSYS Head Coach Joshua Chant, who offered him a job as a part-time sailing coach for their “Tackers” – children beginning their sailing training in dinghies. Everything is in place and an Australian Working Holiday Visa obtained, and the young Member departs for Sydney on September 27, 2022.

Despite his German credentials, on arrival the junior Member will have to acquire several Australian certificates to be compliant, including a local coaching license, local First Aid certificate, and a background check to work with children to qualify for employment by the RSYS. Upon completion, his employment at RSYS will be underway.

As he only has to work part-time, he will have plenty of time to also travel around Australia to explore the country and get to know its people. The young member is full of enthusiasm and very happy indeed that his journey could be organized through the ICOYC Youth Exchange Program. Hopefully many more qualified young people and their parents will take advantage of the opportunities offered by participating ICOYC Member Clubs.