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Monday 24th December 2018

Elizabeth Jordan acknowledged for her Contribution to the Sport Of Sailing and National Building in Antigua and Barbuda

We’ve written about Elizabeth Jordan a few times over the years because of the work she has done to develop the National Sailing Academy in Antigua and Barbuda.

We are delighted today to confirm that on Thursday last week she received recognition for the great work she has achieved by being awarded a gold Faithful and Meritorious medal by the Governor General of Antigua and Barbuda, The Honourable Dr. Rodney Williams at Government House along with more than 20 other people who achieved amazing things for their country.

Anyone who has visited the National Sailing Academy in English Harbour cannot fail to be moved by the great things going on there. If you haven’t visited we would encourage you to take a drive out any day of the week or on a Saturday to see how many Antiguans are learning to sail and loving it.

Below is the bio which was read out prior to Elizabeth being given her award. It says it all, although we would like to add that we were humbled to be part of her celebration with family and other friends on Thursday afternoon. A day to celebrate her success which ended as many often do with her heading off to help one of her guests on the floating dock because they had lost power on the boat. Beautifully dresses in a smokey blue dress and fascinator the exact same colour as her eyes, she marched down the dock with husband Peter Smith to check that the guests were re-connected and comfortable.

The end to another perfect day in paradise, Antigua style.

Congratulations Elizabeth, your success is greatly deserved. We look forward to seeing what else you will deliver before you hang up your dancing shoes!

Photo by Allan Aflak

Bio – Read out in Government House, Thursday 20th December, 2018

In 1999 Elizabeth and her all female crew sailed her yacht ‘ArcAngel’ from England to the Caribbean – with the intention of staying for 3 months.  That has turned into almost 20 years.

Being a sailor, she joined to Yacht Club, became a Board Member and, eventually, Commodore for 6 years. At that time, very few Antiguan children were learning to sail due to cultural, logistical and financial barriers so, in 2010, she founded the National Sailing Academy – wholly sponsored by charitable donations, to rectify the situation. Within weeks, there were 150 primary and secondary school students from Government schools joining the programme.

By 2012, despite the success of the demand, it became obvious that if the Academy was to survive financially, it needed to create its own revenue apart from donations and so it leased to current headquarters on Dockyard Drive which opened in January 2014 where it incorporates a range of activities that contribute towards making the Academy sustainable.

In 2014, Thanks to the assistance of Mr. Bob Bailey & his team, the Academy started to offer the only recreational outreach programme to the disabled children and adults of Antigua – through a programme known as ‘Sailability’ which operates 5 mornings a week with approx: 70 persons attending each week.
Apart from sailing being both a recreational and competitive sport, sailing is changing the lives of young Antiguans by offering a career path into Antigua’s vibrant, and ever expanding, sailing and yachting industry.

This year, 2 Academy students – one from Otto’s Comprehensive and 1 from All Saints Secondary School, have become Yacht Captains and will be undergoing extensive further training in the years to come - potentially leading to them becoming Superyacht Captains.

The Academy has also trained 21 other students as sailing dinghy instructors – most of whom are now working in resorts or on charter boats, with the opportunity to create viable career paths.

The Schools and Disabled Sailing programmes are completely free to the participants. There is a waiting list of schools wishing to join the programme but, at this, time, the Academy is operating at full capacity and cannot expand without additional logistical and financial support.

Sailing is the only sport in Antigua that offers young Antiguans the opportunity of employment in well paid and rewarding careers - whilst engaging in the sport they love.

Elizabeth is married to Peter Smith – one of the ‘Team Wadadli’ rowers from the 2015/2016 Talisker Atlantic Rowing Challenge and has a son living in Antigua and a daughter who lives in Hong Kong - but is here with us today.

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