Outdoor Providers advocating for the sector

Read on for a great example of providers and schools working together to share their experiences and belief in the benefit of collaborative cross curricular programmes.

NZ Sailing Trust on deck at recent PENZ conference

NZ Sailing Trust (NZST) attended the recent PENZ conference. We delivered a workshop with one or our supporters David Williams to discuss the 'Connectivity of EOTC between learner, school and provider'. We talked through challenges of EOTC and shared solutions to assist in developing an experience to enhance student learning.

It was an inclusive session to learn how to navigate opportunities with providers to develop safe and positive programmes for students to challenge them by pushing their boundaries and demanding the best of their capabilities, be it physically, mentally and emotionally. The flexible programmes provided by NZST embraces the place responsive approach and embedding key competencies of the NZ Curriculum into each journey which is delivered on board a sailing vessel, a unique maritime experience on Sir Peter Blake's iconic Whitbread Round the World Yachts. The programmes are cross curricular that introduces students to the history of the boats, leadership of Sir Peter Blake and creating their own journey for sustainable change in the future.

We discussed the benefits of place responsiveness and that this demands the best of student capabilities. It is easy to put up barriers to EOTC but it is worth putting in some time to work on enablers, what can we do or who can help to make this happen? Benefits to the student and the interpersonal relationships amongst their peers is outstanding, often reflected in the school community. By thinking and discussing these factors, teachers are more likely to broaden their thinking to develop strong programmes that have the required learning outcomes, impacts the individuals, also the school community, but develop a programme that is not too onerous. This requires individuals to think outside the box and take a risk to try something new that has multiple benefits.

NZST are constantly challenging ourselves to try something new and develop new programmes. We are looking to partner with other organisations to create new opportunities. This supports the sharing of resources and knowledge to tailor to new groups. We are in the early stages of developing a 5 day Environmental Leadership programme with Blake Trust to provide students with the inspiration of leadership and environmental action through Sir Peter Blake's legacy of sailing and environmentalism.

At the conference workshop we discussed four major challenges which both schools and EOTC providers are faced with; funding, location, Health & Safety, staffing issues and ratios. These are some of the ideas specific to schools, but may be relevant to other sectors, we discussed:
Funding -

  • pool resources in other areas of department programmes e.g. rent some equipment to other schools to raise extra funds. This is hugely relevant to organisations and sharing resources.
  • share cost with another department e.g. develop a cross curricular programme
  • apply lottery grants and donations. Funding for partnering organisations is very favourable in the current funding application situation.
  • suggest a cost comparison with similar providers. NZ Sailing Trust is competitive at $165 incl GST per person per day.
  • student fundraise. The Trust is developing a package to offer to schools for students to do their own fundraising.

Location - The location of the Trust boats is currently in Auckland.

  • locations can be flexible e.g. have picked up a group from Leigh. Other groups have sailed one group to a destination and sailed the next group back.
  • depart mostly out of Auckland, but at certain times of the year can be from Bay of Plenty or Bay of Islands
  • book far enough in advance, flights are reasonable particularly if you are in the South Island.

Supervision Structure (Ratios) and staff issues - these points impact each other. Ratios in particular are difficult to navigate and different schools have different guidelines, also to the type of staff member you are allowed to take. The EOTC guidelines are good to use here. It was suggested and worth the energy to challenge the school/board on certain things as it is important to the success of your trip to have suitable ratios, but also capable if not fully qualified staff, whatever the activity. Support staff may not be suitable on certain occasions. The Trust works to a ratio of 5:1, including 3 of our experienced qualified crew.

Health and Safety - all crew are first aid trained

  • All crew have qualifications or are working towards qualifications
  • Minimum requirement for crew is 3, but we can put on 4 (inclusive of a volunteer)
  • Have all RAMS & AMPS for the activities on board
  • Trust takes H&S very seriously. We do everything we can to take away risk or to mitigate any risk, we meet weekly to discuss H&S.
  • All on shore activities, the school is responsible for the students
  • Personal safety - always have a mixed gender crew. The Trust is working towards an all female crew.


NZ Sailing Trust is a Not for Profit Charitable Trust providing adventurous youth development sailing journeys for youth between the ages of 13 and 22 from high schools and like minded community groups. Between Taupo and Northland.

The NZ Sailing Trust was established with a vision of creating opportunities for New Zealanders to share a unique maritime experience on Sir Peter Blake's iconic Whitbread Round the World Yachts.

The NZ Sailing Trust's mission and goals are to:

  • use these sailing vessels to provide experiences for young New Zealanders that bring to life the values of leadership, courage and teamwork
  • help ensure the future of New Zealand's maritime industry (competitive sailing, Boat Building, tourism etc) through providing opportunities to young New Zealand sailors
  • build awareness and engender conservation of our Marine Environment
  • preserve the legacy of the significant sailing vessels of Sir Peter Blake and his crews

Our programmes provide youth the opportunity to be challenged by pushing their boundaries and demanding the best of their capabilities, be it physically, mentally and emotionally. They learn team work, compassion, resilience and become environmentally conscious. They come away with transformational life skills. Their eyes opened to a world they may not have experienced before.



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