Oman Bursary Scheme

Funding is available for young people interested in experiencing sailing in a Tall Ships Race. Sail Training International has created a bursary scheme in partnership with the Sultanate of Oman to provide opportunities to trainees who need additional support. 

What is the Oman Bursary Scheme?
The Sultanate of Oman Bursary scheme is available to any young person aged between 15 and 25 years old - regardless of background, physical ability or sailing experience - with particular emphasis on those who are financially disadvantaged or with a physical disability.  

Each year, the scheme will help fund young people from around the world to benefit from the life-changing experience gained from participation in races and regattas organised by Sail Training International. A maximum of €500 is awarded to each selected trainee.

How long has the scheme been running?
The scheme was trialled at The Tall Ships Races 2011, which saw 25 trainees from seven countries receive funds from this Bursary and in 2012, the first year of the scheme’s full implementation, 100 young people from 28 countries benefited from the scheme. 

In 2013 99 young people were granted a Bursary - several of which who had, or were still suffering, from serious illness (cancer) and others who had difficulties to deal with in their lives. One of  the young recipients, Yujun Xu, aged 23, from the City of Wuxi in China, was awarded the coveted Torbay Cup. .

In 2014 over 100 young people benefited from the adventure of a lifetime.  Read some of their stories in The Masthead here

About Oman
Oman has a long-standing relationship with events organised by Sail Training International and a commitment to youth development. 

Earlier this month (September 2014) The Royal Navy of Oman (RNO) held a celebration to mark the delivery of its new sail training vessel Shabab Oman 2, which means 'Youth of Oman.' 

Shabab Oman 2 replaces the former Shabab Oman and is all set to continue its sail training success story and its culture of friendship, love and peace among the world nations.  Shabab Oman has won the prestigious International Friendship Trophy nine times!  This is a huge achievement as the trophy is decided by secret ballot voted by the participating Captains and their crews.  

The 86-metre long Shabab Oman 2 is larger and faster than its predecessor and has three main square-shaped 52-metre sails. With additional cabins distributed in three decks, the ship has a capacity to carry up to 90 people on board. 

How to apply
If you are interested in applying for a Sultanate of Oman Bursary for 2015, you can download an application form here. There is no closing date, but once all bursary funds are granted the application form will be removed. Previous experience indicates that this could be as early as end March 2015.

Trainee Testimonies:

Josh Mandich (aged 24, USA) Crew member on board Alexander Von Humboldt II –  The Tall Ships Races 2013

“The experience on board was incredible and we greatly appreciate what the Sultan did for us. It was something that was so unique and exciting we will never forget it.  On our journey we encountered a storm, calm waters and lots of different wind.

One of my favourite things has been sharing our experience with all of my friends back home, many of whom have never heard about The Tall Ships Races or the Sultan of Oman. It has been a lot of fun sharing our journey with them and I think some are inspired to someday do what I did. Once again, thank you so much for the incredible experience. I really appreciate the Sultan's generosity… "

Paul Brière (aged 17, France) crew member on board Belle Poule – The Tall Ships Races 2014

"I did various thing during my watches: the wheel, checking our position on maps, changing sails, repairing ropes, pulleys, checking the engine, fishing, climbing in the mast, cooking, cleaning... I never got bored.

“I also took part in activities, such as the crew parades, sports activities, crew parties etc. What I liked the most was to meet youngsters from all over the world, and to discover the local cultures of the guest harbours. I am sure that I got better at sailing, but I also became more mature, independent, open-minded… more adult."