Atlantic sport ambassador and Olympic sailor, Andrew Lewis was sevens years old when his father sent him to his first sailing camp, where he developed a passion for the sport. Since then the student has become the teacher, as he has hosted hundreds of children at various sailing camps across the country, which most recently included a five-day camp for the children of Atlantic’s employees. “I had the opportunity at a very young age to be exposed to sailing, and that was the beginning of my passion for the sport. Hopefully, through these camps, I can be the start of a new sailing journey for someone else”, Lewis explained.

The sailing camp, which was held at the Vessigny Beach Facility, attracted children between the ages of 8-15, and was part of Lewis’ ongoing series of sailing camps for young children in T&T. He has hosted sessions at Guapo Beach, Vessigny, Chaguaramas, and Pigeon Point, Tobago, and received recognition from the Ministry of Sport and the Sports Company of T&T (SporTT) for his work with children, when he was named Community Coach for 2012 at the annual Spirit of Sports Awards, hosted by SporTT. As a former national high performance coach, he enjoys sharing his knowledge and experiences with young sailing enthusiasts across the country and strengthening national interest in the sport. “I am glad that I am in a position where I can help to grow the sport in T&T, and expose kids who may not have had the opportunity to get into a sport like sailing. Hopefully we will soon see more young people taking up the sport locally”, he said.
Through this initiative, children learn more about boat safety, tying knots and preparing boats for water, culminating with the young sailors being able to navigate their own boats on the water.

“The way Andrew explained things, sailing became simple and enjoyable, and it is definitely something I would like to continue”, said 15-year-old Kyron Smart, one of the participants in the sailing camp at Vessigny. Additionally, Lewis points out that not only is sailing fun, but the sport teaches various lessons which children can apply to everyday life. “Sailing demands discipline and really demands that you be alert, learn to be independent and confident in your abilities as a sailor. You also have a responsibility to maintaining your boat, and this helps to foster greater accountability among the kids”, said Lewis. “The fantastic thing about sport is that the learning process is so natural that children often do not realise that they are learning.” Lewis is currently participating in the CORK Olympic Class Regatta in Canada, which is another step in his preparation for the 2013 Laser World Championships which will be held in Oman in November.