From 10 to 15 April 2012 Poland hosted the first ever international training seminar focused on Development of National Sport Structure programme co-ordinated by the International Olympic Committee.
The seminar was organized by the Polish Yachting Association and was held at the University School of Physical Education and Sport and its National Sailing Centre in Gdansk as well as at Sopot Sailing Club well developed centres to run such seminars.
The leading subject of the seminar was "National coaching structure and management in sailing". The programme was ran by a world class coach and sailor Mark Reynolds (USA) who had successfully been working as Junior Sailing Manager establishing youth and development program in San Diego Yacht Club and California area. Mark also supported number of local and wider initiatives helping in developing of sailing, certifications, talent identification and organizing a number of events of different levels towards achieving goals linked to the Development of a National Sport Structure and Sport Programme.
Polish Yachting Association (PYA) has recently established a long term strategy to promote and to increase participation in sailing especially focusing on youth and development issues. This is closely linked with ISAF on the following aspects:
- encouraging wider audience with particular emphasis on young people,
- supporting education, training and development programmes,
- supporting coaching and instructing profession mainly on youth sailing level,
- developing structural base for youth sailing.
The strategy has already been given acceptance and further support from the Ministry of Sport and Tourism in Poland. The PYA is willing to develop its sports and coaching structures to support the sailors in their activities towards better performance. The following goals have been stated:
- to promote sailing for all,
- to run youth and development programme,
- to develop the position of sailing within the group of high priority sports in Poland,
- to qualify in a maximum number of events in Youth and regular Olympics in 2014 and 2016 and the following years.
The seminar, despite of presence of the expert provided a great opportunity to discuss ideas between all attendants confronting them with given experience. Programme of the seminar has covered following aspects: management and structural aspects of sailing, development of coaching structure and skills, training periodization and tapering, strategic planning in sport.
Comprehensive description of US Sailing youth training and talent identification programmes, resources and participation delivered by Mark Reynolds concluded interesting discussion between participants and expert. More than 30 attendants including: coaches, instructors, sailors and university students discussed the ideas of how to support participation in regions, raise the level of education and training courses for coaches and how to monitor the projects based on schools. Further involvement in ISAF Training & Development programmes and possible Olympic Solidarity grants shall help in carrying the programmes in a successive way.
To conclude, we must admit, that the main IOC objective: to develop national sports and coaching structure by implementing a mid to long-term action plan for a specific sport was fulfilled which means the programme is carried in a proper way.
Polish Yachting Association Website