Oceans of Hope aims to restore the self-confidence of people with MS by overcoming the challenges of sailing together.
Multiple sclerosis is a chronic autoimmune disease in which the immune system attacks its own nerve pathways in the brain and spinal cord. It leads to physical, mental and emotional challenges, which are not so clearly perceptible or explainable. Oceans of Hope unites people with MS to overcome the many challenges of sailing together. Sailing with us builds back self-confidence and leads to an improved outlook for the future.
Sailing trips strengthen muscles, balance and confidence to enjoy life.
Sailing can be relaxing, adventurous, competitive, exciting and fun. No matter what, sailing is always a challenge! Sailing has been used for many years as a tool to help develop leadership, teamwork and self-respect. The success of any voyage requires the captain, crew and boat to work together in a coordinated way. Teamwork is essential and it is crucial to the success of the boat that each individual contributes. There is a great team spirit on a boat regardless of the crew's background or ability to perform. Sailing is unique because the environment has such a big impact on the experience. At moments of calm, the silence and serenity allows for self-reflection. At other times, the sea can also be an uncertain and/or uncomfortable environment. The sea does not discriminate, occasionally tough and challenging conditions can be challenging for both amateur and professional sailors.
The sea will test the team and every member of that team.
Oceans of Hope was founded by Mikkel Anthonisen, a Danish neurologist and MS expert. His idea was to use a sailing environment to empower people with MS to take on challenges, to allow them to experience their abilities rather than focus on their disabilities. The ultimate expression of Mikkel's vision was to sail a non-adapted boat manned by people with MS around the world, they sailed around the world in 2015!
This trip around the world was an awe-inspiring experience for those who participated. Sailing provides an appropriate therapeutic tool because, like MS, it creates challenges that can be big or small and can occur at any time with an uncertain outcome. Oceans of Hope has helped participants gain self-confidence and a renewed sense of empowerment. However, this is only part of the experience. Sailing creates a lasting sense of community with other crew members. The camaraderie of sailing on a boat with people who have similar experiences creates an environment where people can comfortably share their hopes and fears. The Oceans of Hope experience is a catalyst for creating lasting friendships and a sense of community.
It was the inspiring journey of circumnavigation that led one of the crew members, Robert Munns, to create a series of sailing events, the Oceans of Hope Challenges, in 2015. Since then, the team has completed numerous Challenge events, introduced more than 300 people to the sailing experience, and gained recognition with an award from the sailing community. This has evolved further with the establishment of a charity in UK. Robert directs the UK charity as chief executive, while its founder, Mikkel Anthonisen, acts as chairman of the trustees.
Robert's vision for Oceans of Hope UK is to focus on the Challenge events that continue to be very successful. These events are exclusively for people with MS. They vary in duration and location, but all build towards one experience; helping people with MS overcome challenges. Oceans of Hope creates an environment where people with MS can realise their own potential to achieve extraordinary things. This allows people with MS to live their lives to the fullest instead of feeling limited by their disease.
Ocean of Hope is overcoming challenges together.
Now we are also organising such a sailing trip from Belgium together with T/S Saeftinghe.
Website Oceans of Hope