Mission Australia Spin 180

Sailing spins life around for Darwin Youth

September 13, 2017

A young Darwin sailor has turned his life around from social disengagement, family breakdown and the risks of homelessness through a local program, which will now see him participating in a prestigious national Youth Regatta in Sydney.

Sixteen year old Malik Taylor joined Mission Australia’s Spin 180 Youth Sailing Program just twelve months ago and is already enjoying a confident and positive approach to life with an invitation to join a sailing squad in Sydney and positive employment prospects.

Mission Australia Youth Support Worker Lisa Denvir says that the Program has provided Malik with a valuable pathway to increase his self-confidence and develop personal goals.

“Malik was not attending school regularly due to pressures at home. His family experienced homelessness, his mother needed support and life was indeed chaotic for this young man.

“Once engaged with the Spin 180 Sailing Program Malik soon became an enthusiastic participant. He rose to the challenge and was a visible, strong mentor for new participants.”

Darwin Sailing Club Youth Coach Mike Hanson says that competitive sailboat racing teaches you many things besides getting around a race course.

“Things like discipline, preparation, and team work are huge factors when it comes to racing well. It is no coincidence that people who race successfully carry that success into other areas of their lives. They know what it takes to make strides in a competitive world, whether in their professional lives, at home, or on the water. Watching Malik gain that confidence through the sport has been great to see, and we expect him to carry that momentum as he continues to develop as an athlete, and as a person,” Mr Hanson said.

As part of their youth support program, Mission Australia assisted Malik to obtain work experience at the Sailing Club and at a mechanics workshop. In addition he attended and graduated from the Personal Development Program – Strength, which gives young men valuable life lessons and coping skills that help guide them to better decision making.

“The transformation in Malik has been remarkable. Perhaps for the first time, he can view older males as helpful, friendly and well meaning. This is something he has not experienced at home.  His positivity spreads to the younger participants and helps to give them a clear vision of a bright future,” Ms Denvir said.

Darwin Sailing Club recently announced that Malik had been selected to attend the prestigious SHARP National Youth Regatta at Sydney’s CYCA on Rushcutters Bay, sailing with a DSC team on September 25.

“The Spin 180 Program has provided a powerful motivator to affecting real change in this young person.  Malik has a much more focused approach to everything that is happening around him, and is able to make positive decisions about his own life.

“We wish him every success in the future and the national regatta.”