LOCAL YOUTH SAILORS Stewart Clark

LOCAL YOUTH SAILORS Stewart Clark

Youth sailors seek financial support

Pursuit of world championship is a costly endeavour

We’re all familiar with the story of the underfunded athlete struggling to raise money to attend an international competition. The story of two young Vancouver Island athletes, however, has a twist in that it involves a sport that many consider a pleasure activity for the elite,  a misconception that makes fundraising all the more challenging.

Sailing, especially sailboat racing, is often assumed to be an elitist sport for the well-to-do. That exact accusation, in fact, was leveled in a New York Times editorial during the London Olympics. But Chris Volkers and Stewart Clark, who are just 15 and 17 years old respectively and on the cusp of qualifying for the world’s most prestigious youth sailing competition, couldn’t be further from that stereotype.

Clark lives with his siblings in Victoria and is supported by a single mom. Volkers, who lives in Comox, is the son of a ship captain who has been around the water since his infancy. Both boys learned to sail – specifically race through Sea Cadets, a federally sponsored youth program for young men and women aged 12-19 designed to develop leadership, citizenship and physical fitness.  Both Volkers and Clark have been Sea Cadets since they were 12 and, as such, have received their training at little or no cost to their families.

Now the duo is just one step away from competing at the International Sailing Federation (ISAF) Youth Worlds, which takes place in Valencia, Spain next July. In order to compete, however, Volkers and Clark must raise $9,000 by the end of January in order to compete in the final qualifying event in Florida, and because Sea Cadets cannot fund individuals, they’re on their own to raise the funds. Significantly more funds will be needed if they’re successful in Florida.

“Chris and Stewart are on the doorstep of the world stage, the pinnacle of world youth sailing and the goal to which they’ve aspired all these years,” says their coach, Lt.(N) Tracy Terry. “But without the funding to get them there, they risk missing out on everything they’ve been training for.

“The weekends spent on the water instead of hanging out with friends, and for Volkers the countless hours commuting across the Island to train with the Pacific Sailing Team in Victoria – that could all be for naught.

“Sea Cadets has given these young men an opportunity they almost certainly wouldn’t have had otherwise,” she continues. “In addition to sailing and seamanship skills, they’ve developed life and social skills like respect, teamwork, goal-setting, self-confidence, and of course the level of fitness required of a high performance athlete. They deserve to be where they are, and they deserve their shot at the pinnacle of their sport.”

If you’d like to help Chris and Stewart achieve their dream, donations can be made at www.PacificSailingTeam.weebly.com with a direct Paypal link for donations.

Though Cadets Canada cannot fund individual members, the organization recently launched a Cadet Renewal Program that will redirect funds from various areas back into local corps, meaning more cadets will be able to benefit like Volkers and Clark from the program. To learn more about joining Sea Cadets in the Comox Valley check out our webpage www.189portaugusta.ca.

– Comox Valley Navy League

 

Just Posted

Little Brown Bat, Cori Lausen image
Puntledge River bats being studied

Project will use ultrasonic data to collect information on species and habitat

A 30x40 ft boat/car shop in the Little River area near Wilkinson Road was fully involved by the time firefighters arrived on scene. Photo by Comox Fire Rescue
Comox firefighters battle ‘showy’ shop fire Saturday night

Smoke could be seen throughout the Comox Valley

ROAM Media’s Ian Adams designed the label for the new honey ale. Image supplied
Church St., Ace combine on a true Comox Valley brew

The taphouse has Home Buoy on tap, and it’s also in cans

The finish line! Huband held a ‘Colour Run’ Friday to celebrate what’s been a different school year. Photo by Mike Chouinard
Comox Valley school lets its colours run

Huband Elementary wanted a way to bring kids together

People watch a car burn during a riot following game 7 of the NHL Stanley Cup final in downtown Vancouver, B.C., in this June 15, 2011 photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Geoff Howe
10 years ago: Where were you during the 2011 Vancouver Stanley Cup Riots?

Smashed-in storefronts, looting, garbage can fires and overturned cars some of the damage remembered today

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Rick Ruppenthal of Saltair will host a 12-hour talk-a-thon Friday, June 18 over Facebook live. (Photo submitted)
Talk-a-thon to focus on men’s mental health issues

Island man spearheading a campaign to generate more conversation during fundraiser

Ivy was thrown out of a moving vehicle in Kelowna. Her tail was severely injured and will be amputated. (BC SPCA)
Kitten thrown from moving vehicle, needs help: Kelowna SPCA

The seven-month-old kitten had severe tail and femur injuries

The Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre estimates that less than five per cent of mass-marketing fraud is ever reported.
Tips to avoid scams targeting Vancouver Island seniors

In most cases, fraudsters impersonate an individual, business or agency seniors recognize and trust

Vancouver courthouse. (Photo: Tom Zytaruk)
Man loses bid to appeal conviction for 1999 rape at Abbotsford music festival

James Redden, 53, formerly of Nanaimo, was found guilty in 2019 following six-day trial

A health-care worker holds up a sign signalling she needs more COVID-19 vaccines at the ‘hockey hub’ mass vaccination facility at the CAA Centre during the COVID-19 pandemic in Brampton, Ont., on Friday, June 4, 2021. This NHL-sized hockey rink is one of CanadaÕs largest vaccination centres. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
‘Vaxxed to the max’: Feds launch Ask an Expert campaign to encourage COVID shots

Survey shows that confidence in vaccines has risen this spring

Port Alberni court house (Alberni Valley News)
Inquest set into 2016 death of B.C. teen after a day spent in police custody

18-year-old Jocelyn George died of heart failure in hospital after spending time in jail cell

Children’s shoes and flowers are shown after being placed outside the Ontario legislature in Toronto on Monday, May 31, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn
Ontario commits $10 million to investigate burial sites at residential schools

Truth and Reconciliation Commission identified 12 locations of unmarked burial sites in Ontario

Most Read