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21 November 2005, 12:25 pm
A Report From Singapore
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Connect To Sailing

For the third consecutive year Connect to Sailing held seminars during the ISAF Annual Conference. Emphasizing the importance that ISAF has placed upon initiatives to increase participation in sailing, Connect to Sailing now in its first year of active management, reported significant progress to a largely Member National Authority (MNA) representative audience.
Connect to Sailing aims to engage with MNA's and other stakeholders to develop and deliver community driven projects to attract children to sailing. Project Manager, Tim COVENTRY, advised that in addition to the detailed planning document produced as a guide to the establishment of a national task force in a country, contact had been made with many existing projects demonstrating best practice.

Four Connect to Sailing Ambassadors have been appointed, Alistair MURRAY for his International work with Sailing Summit, Chip JOHNS to represent the USA and Caribbean, Philippe FOURRIER for France and Malav SHROFF for India. Further appointments are to be made for South America, South Africa and China. Ambassadors with staff guidance are currently supporting the formation of task forces in South Africa, India, China and France.

The flag ship RYA 'Onboard' project is reaching the completion of its first phase roll out and we expect to have significant source data and best practice material from this exciting initiative - www.ruob.co.uk

Day two of the Connect to Sailing Seminar in Singapore saw Axel GRAEL present the Instituto Rumo Nautico Grael Project in Brazil which is a cost-free programme for children from low income families in Brazil to learn how to sail. Axel's presentation focused on the social and economical potential of sailing in a developing country, lessons learnt and how the initiative can be replicated. ISAF has been instrumental in helping to gain UNESCO recognition for this important programme promoting education through nautical sports.

On behalf of Yachting New Zealand, Geoff THORPE presented the 'Sailing…Have a go' programme sponsored by the Sir Peter Blake Trust and the New Zealand America's Cup syndicate. Both programmes are recognized by Connect to Sailing as best practice examples of introducing children in education to sailing.

The Connect to Sailing project goals for 2006 are:

  • Higher International visibility for the project
  • More involvement with MNA's
  • More country projects
  • Project sponsors
  • The establishment of country targets for increased participation

For more details on individual projects or on how to start your own Connect To Sailing programme, contact the Connect To Sailing Team at ISAF.

ISAF. Image, Torben GRAEL's brother Axel was in Singapore to talk about the Grael Prject:© Torben Grael
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