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31 January 2005, 12:50 pm
Classification Training Workshop
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Disabled Sailing
Australia

Yachting Australia held it's inaugural Classification Workshop last weekend thanks to the support of Project CONNECT. Classification is a system which allows athletes from different disability groups to compete together by assigning points based on level of ability derived from functional testing, simulated activities and practical sailing observation.
To compete in the three person keelboat class (Sonar) or the single person keelboat class (2.4mR) at the Paralympics, athletes must be classified by a small team of qualified officials. Until this weekend, Australia was home to just one Classifier.

Seven participants came to Sydney this weekend to undertake training to become a National Classifier for Yachting. They came from Perth, Adelaide, Melbourne, Brisbane and Sydney. The weekend consisted of theory training, practical assessment and a brief sail on Sydney harbour in Sailability Rushcutters Bay's Salvo.

Further to the training received this weekend, the trainee classifiers must now attend a regatta to observe the competitors in action and carry out a set number of classifications each year.

This weekend workshop was only possible with the support from Project CONNECT, an Australian Sports Commission and Australian Paralympic Committee joint venture, which by name is to Create Opportunities Nationally through Networks in Education, Classification and Training. This workshop was the first of its kind run in Australia and is only the second of it's kind run by any sailing organisation in the world.

Yachting Australia are grateful to Dr Stephen WILSON, the head classifier for volunteering his time to run this weekend, Sailability Rushcutter's Bay for transport on Saturday and Sailability Dobroyd for accomodating the practical session on Sunday morning.

Any enquiries regarding classification can be directed to classification@yachting.org.au and will be addressed by Yachting Australia's team of classifiers.

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Carly Gray (As Amended by ISAF) Image: © Carly Gray
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