Every year the Training and Development Seminar attracts many delegates and observers who share ideas and thoughts on the progression of sailing.
This year was no different and saw nine times Kite Racing World Champion Kristin Boese speak about her work in encouraging others to compete.
During her speech Boese touched on the challenges for an emerging sport which include:
• Structure (organisation and pathway)
• Participation (Getting sailors and volunteers involved)
• Financing (Finding the support)
• Media Attention
• Getting Minorities Involved
When Boese first started out there were many boundaries that she personally had to overcome. For example, in 2002 she went to kiteboard off of a beach and was greeted with a male dominated environment and the comment 'you can't board here, you're a girl' sparked her to make a stand and aim to make a change. Since then, through the work done via the KB4 Girls Foundation, there has been an increase in female participation, more recognition and a stronger network across the world.
Just last week the ISAF Training Scholarship Candidates graduated from the eight week long course. Julia Shaw, who represents Vietnam, was on hand to answer questions about her experience. Vietnam are one of ISAF's newest Member National Authorities and with Shaw taking the knowledge learnt back home she'll look to apply and develop sailing within the nation.
Another product of the ISAF Training Scholarship is South African Academy & National Training Manager Rob Holden. Having been key in setting up the national training programme Holden is now looking to spread and grow neighbour MNAs which will lead to an increase in regional development. The South African gave yet another fantastic presentation after his emotive and inspiring talk in 2010 where there was not one dry eye in the house!
As well as a Question and Answer session with the Connect to Sailing Partners there was also an opportunity to go through two recent Training Resource Publications: The Beginners Guide to Kiteboarding and the Guide to Offshore Personal Safety. Author of the latter, Simon Jinks, discussed the guide and one seasoned delegate noted that it was a pretty good read, even if you're not taking an ISAF Approved Offshore Personal Survival Training course.
Both publications are available to buy now on the ISAF website here
To stay up-to-date with the ISAF Annual Conference, a live blog will keep you up-to-date throughout the conference on the ISAF website here
and news will be available throughout.