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RSYC partnership with Westports reaping dividends as students excel in sailing

SAILING was a lesser known word for 15-year-old Syazrin Muhd Idris until his teacher mentioned an opportunity to join a youth sailing programme at the Royal Selangor Yacht Club (RSYC) last year.

Intrigued by the sport, he joined the RSYC and Westports Community Sailing Programme and less than a year later won his first gold medal at the 2016 Selangor Sport Council’s Sailboat Championship.

“There is pride in being a sailor, not everyone has an opportunity to do it. I love the scenery while out on the boat, it is simply beautiful,” said the shy boy.

He said this during the letter of acceptance ceremony for the second batch of young sailors in Port Klang recently.

Syazrin and 10 fellow students from SMK Pulau Indah will continue their training with another 12 students from SK Pulau Indah (1).

Both RSYC and Westports are eager to organise the event again following the success of last year’s programme.

When the idea was initially mooted three years ago, Westports embraced it since it fell in line with their aim to conduct corporate social responsibility projects in Pulau Indah where they are based.

Head of marketing department Vijaya Kumar Puspowanam said they wanted to give back to the community in Pulau Indah who have supported their projects over the years.

Vijaya Kumar said they had aimed to win a medal within three years of the programme’s launch but was pleasantly surprised to have won one within a year.

“We would like to see these children excel in the sport and go on to compete in the SEA Games. Now that we have introduced the programme to the younger kids, they can be trained earlier,” he added.

RSYC sailing secretary Jeff Harris meanwhile said sailing was a popular sport and RSYC had produced professional sailors in the past who were now based in places such as Hong Kong.

Harris said the students were selected from an initial selection round based on the potential shown.

“It is important to get the support of the school because they will need to give the children time off for the competition. I hope the children will appreciate the opportunity given to them as well,” he said.

Harris said the rewards would come when the students realised they had mastered both wind and water.

The gold medal is a feather in the cap for the soon-to-be retired principal of SMK Pulau Indah Jamaludin Saad. It is an addition to the school’s countless achievements in other extra-curricular activities.

He said the school had a host of extra curricular activities for the children to choose from including violin, rugby, sailing and gamelan.

“Although we are a rural school we have achieved so much with the Trust School system, a partnership between the corporate and public sector,” he added.

Jamaludin said sporting events such as sailing, helped boost the children’s confidence.

He hoped his students would become visionary people with such experiences.