BF&M, in association with the America’s Cup Endeavour Program and Bermuda Autism Support and Education [BASE], is launching the ‘No Limits’ sailing program for children with autism spectrum disorder [ASD].
BF&M’s ‘No Limits’ program seeks to offer sailing as a form of recreational therapy for ASD children, to extend the excitement of the 35th America’s Cup and the richness of Bermuda’s maritime heritage to ASD families, and to expand what Bermuda has to offer in the way of experiential enrichment for its youth
BF&M worked with the America’s Cup Endeavour Program team to create the modified program, which will offer a series of sailing sessions to a number of participants starting in the second quarter of 2017.
Operating from the East and West America’s Cup Endeavour Program sailing forts in Bermuda, the ‘No Limits’ program will provide an instructor/student ratio of 1:2 so that an instructor will be in the boat with the participants at all times. The America’s Cup Endeavour Program Hobie Wave boats will be used, as they offer superior stability in the water and no boom.
John Wight, President and CEO of BF&M Limited, explained: “We have two pillars of corporate social engagement at BF&M: wellness and Bermuda’s heritage and future. We have supported many health and wellness related organizations and initiatives over the years and last year we chose to extend support to BASE [Bermuda Autism Support and Education].
“BF&M’s ‘No Limits’ sailing program came about because, as a Partner of the 35th America’s Cup, we thought it would be wonderful to extend the excitement of the America’s Cup and the fantastic legacy of the America’s Cup Endeavour Program to children in our community who are on the autism spectrum.”
Anthony Peets, President of BASE, added: “We are excited that BF&M and the America’ Cup Endeavour Program are working together so that children on the autism spectrum can be exposed to sailing.
“Our message is that our children are exceptional and have no limits to what they can achieve if their uniqueness is embraced. If we can be conscious of what it takes for each individual to cope in the world, we can unleash great potential.”
Russell Coutts, CEO of the America’s Cup Event Authority, added: “I am delighted to see the America’s Cup Endeavour Program and our valued Partner BF&M adding such a fantastic initiative to our partnership. Creating the opportunity through BASE to offer children on the autism spectrum the chance to experience sailing in a safe, controlled environment is something we are all very proud to be able to make happen.”