Association takes Labor Department personnel and students sailing

POSTED: 11/18/11 5:15 AM

GREAT BAY – The St. Maarten Marine Trades Association (SMMTA), the St. Maarten Sailing School and Aqua Mania partnered recently to take three female staffers from the Labor Department and students of the Milton Peters College sailing. The trips were part of the Spotlight St. Maarten initiative which is aimed at exposing the marine industry to residents and encouraging them to take advantage of the on water opportunities available to them.
A local St. Maartener, who began sailing three months ago, also joined the trip taken by the three Labor Department staffers. He started off doing the Basic Keel boat course on the St. Maarten Sailing School’s 25 foot boat Little Poe and then moved up to the basic Cruising course on Moon Dance the Catalina 36. This novice is now doing the boat master course which is the new St. Maarten Commercial License as well as power boat handling and seamanship courses.
The trip for the civil servants was meant to give them a firsthand impression of sailing and other aspects surrounding sailing and sailboats in general. The association believes what they learned is complementary knowledge that they can draw on when they are formulating labor programs geared specifically towards getting locals more involved in the island’s marine industry.
The trip for the MPC students was part of a program that encourages them to choose two outdoor activities. The majority of students have chosen sailing as their first option.
“This is a great opportunity for them to experience a sailing trip and expose them to the other activities on the water. With the help of the St Maarten Sailing School they were able to go out and enjoy an afternoon of sailing. The program hopes to raise an interest in the youngsters to pursue some of these activities as a hobby or possibly even as a trade,” a release stated.

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