Rotakat is a program of the Rotary Club of Darwin North, NT, and is supported by the Darwin Sailing Club.
The program commenced in 2010 and was initiated by two sailors – Barry Stach, who was the Commodore of the Sailing Club, and Rotarian Dan Baschiera. These two men shared an interest in therapeutic sailing and applied for a grant to purchase a Hobie 16 to start up RotaKat.
The aim of the program is to build confidence, social skills and the sailing ability of young people impacted by Autism, ADHD and anxiety issues. This inspirational program not only supports young people, but benefits the parents, the volunteers and the community.
“The aim of the program is to build confidence, social skills and the sailing ability of young people impacted by Autism, ADHD and anxiety issues.”
Through learning to sail on Hobie Catamarans, the ‘Young Pirates’ are presented with a challenging, interactive and positive activity focussed on supporting their social growth, mental health and wellbeing. Parents are supported in raising children by aligning activities with their goals; helping them have time for themselves or allowing them to focus on their other children.
The volunteers who assist are provided with a program that builds skills, widens networks, increases experience with young people and introduces them to a robust social group.
The community and the major stakeholders benefit with a program that challenges stereotypes surrounding disability and mental health issues.