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Youngsters benefit from Sail training

For immediate release 21st July

Youngsters benefit from Sail training

A recent survey carried out by the R. Tucker Thompson Sail Training Trust has confirmed the Trust’s sail training programme develops confidence, builds teamwork and enhances leadership skills.

Based on feedback from students and parents for the past 4 years, the results were overwhelmingly positive with all students saying they received some benefit from the voyage. Nearly all parents agreed, with 98.7% saying their child benefited.

The survey indicated that often the effects are long term, and some are life changing. Students themselves recognised the benefits, particularly in terms of giving them confidence to try new things and give something a go. The survey confirmed the “Tucker” experience resulted in increased confidence levels across a wide range of situations ranging from getting on with a group of strangers through to working with others on a common goal.

The Trust’s Chair Mike Daniel commented “The Trust receives no Government funding relying on donations, grants and sponsorships to keep these voyages affordable for students. Surpluses from our summer tourism activities go towards subsidising the Sail Training activities, but this is nowhere near enough to run a full programme of 16 voyages a year, which is our goal. Every dollar donated goes directly to supporting these voyages and nothing else.

We know these voyages work, but the results of the survey will give comfort to existing financial supporters, and those considering helping us, send 144 young Northlanders on 16 life changing voyages every winter.”

For the full copy of the survey, please download it from

Survey into the effectiveness of R. Tucker Thompson Sail Training Programmes

Executive Summary

In February 2014, the R. Tucker Thompson Sail Training Trust initiated two surveys to establish the effectiveness of their 7-day youth development voyages. The Trust promotes confidence, leadership and teamwork as three key outcomes of participation. These two surveys tested the validity of this statement to analyse the benefits from the perception of the parents but as importantly from the sail trainees themselves.

The Trust delivers its programmes to students from the Northland region, an area of high need due to high unemployment, low average wages and low educational achievement. Over 45% of schools in Northland are rated as Decile 1 or Decile 2 and 81% of schools are rated Decile 5 or below. Significant poverty exists in many areas and consequently students have very limited opportunity to access programmes of this nature. For this reason, the voyages make a big difference.

The results clearly confirmed that these programmes work and more importantly they have benefits that last for the long term. Key findings were as follows:

100% of students stated they got some benefit from the voyage, 91.9% indicating it was a great deal or a lot

98.7% of parents believed their child benefited from the voyage

96% parents believed their child’s confidence had improved as the result of the voyage

Confidence benefits were long term: ”She gained a confidence that I had never been able to give her and I saw the change as soon as she got back and she has never looked back”

75% of students felt confident or very confident taking on a leadership role following the voyage, compared to 38.9% prior

78.8% of students felt they were confident or very confident working with others to achieve a common goal after the voyage, compared to 25% prior

Parents agreed: My son's experience with the R Tucker Thompson was a huge help in both behaviour and initiative to work with others likewise at home.

77% of students felt they were confident or very confident meeting new people following the voyage compared to 25% prior to the voyage

Confidence that will last throughout their lives “He has developed a yes it can be done attitude and his school grades and involvement in sports and other community activities continue to amaze us. It seems like a short time ago but it is over three years since he was on board the Tucker T.

It can be life-changing: “It has been a while since our son [ ] had his boat trip, but I must tell you it was a real turning point in [his] confidence, life changing”\

For the full copy of the survey, please download it from

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