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8 November 2009, 02:02 pm
Training Top Of The Agenda On Day Four At ISAF Annual Conference
Jason Smithwick at the Connect to Sailing Seminar
Jason Smithwick gets his point across at the Connect to Sailing Seminar, where training was centre of attention in Busan today

ISAF Annual Conference 2009
Busan, Korea

Training was a major focus on the four day of meetings at the ISAF Annual Conference in Busan, Korea.
Training and increasing grassroots sailing was a major talking point on day four of the ISAF Annual Conference, with the Development and Youth Committee meeting in the morning followed by the Connect to Sailing Seminar on the Learn to Sail Training Programme.

At the Development and Youth Committee meeting, the four-year Development Plan was "the most important item for us today" according to Committee chairman Olivier Bovyn (FRA). The plan outlines the future goals of the Committee to increase participation in sailing by strengthening existing, and attracting new, ISAF Member Nations (MNAs) and is divided into four key areas of delivery: Partnership, Expansion, Promotion and Information.

As part of this discussion, Bovyn pointed to the importance of working with government bodies, "Let me underline this point - promoting sailing in education. The question is how to convince global and national governing bodies to promote sailing? We need to demonstrate to these bodies sailing is not that expensive compared to the value it provides to the users."

Tim Coventry, Project Manager for Connect to Sailing, said that it was key to help MNAs recognise the importance of fostering the sport at a grassroots level. "A great majority of MNAs are only promoting elite athlete programmes," he said. "You need to engage with a bigger number of the MNAs who are currently only focussing on elite programmes. You need to show them why grassroots is important and then help them to deliver those programmes."

Later in the afternoon, delegates were given a chance to see how they can start to achieve this aim at the ISAF Connect to Sailing Seminar, which provided an update on the Learn to Sail Training Programme and how MNAs can get involved and take advantage of Olympic Solidarity funding with 'Train the Trainers' workshops. For details of the seminar will be published shortly, but in the meantime, for more details contact Dan Jaspers, ISAF's Training Manager.

Click here to contact Dan.

In the Match Racing Committee meeting one of the main issues addressed was the host venue for the 2011 ISAF Nations Cup Grand Final. Sheboygan in the USA received the Committee's support as hosts. The Windsurfing and Match Racing Committees also held their meetings today, both of whose agendas included a review of the arrangements for the 2012 London Olympic Games Sailing Competition. Other meetings were held for the Class Rules, Empirical Handicap and Sail Rankings Sub-committees and Women's Forum.

Amongst the meetings tomorrow are the Race Officials and Regional Games Committees.

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