With a newly built venue, (Ymir Sailing Club) being used as host to a training course for the first time and the forecast set to be moderate breeze and warmer than average temperatures (nothing to do with the volcano apparently), the scene was set for a great week.
The candidates were heavily involved from the outset, leading workshops and discussions based on topics as far ranging as:
How and why we learn
Games with learning aims
Evaluation and monitoring of standards
Briefing / de-briefing
Race coaching to the challenges and solutions in increasing participation in sailing in Iceland
With ages ranging from 16-30 years the group had a diverse range of experience and was able to learn and develop quickly. It was encouraging to see that three of the group were female coaches, eager to put something back into the sailing legacy of Iceland. Their viewpoints were very valuable in discussions that included the male / female gender split in sailing participation.
After four long days of training the group participated in a series of race related training exercises led by Mike Hart which culminated in a mini regatta, giving many of the non racers a chance to see how simple, fun exercises can make racing manoeuvres enjoyable and easily digestible. With talk of Iceland hosting a follow up Level 3 Technical Course (Intermediate Racing Coach) later this year or early 2011, the race bug seems to have caught on for these coaches. Who knows, maybe a future Olympic Development Squad Coach is amongst them.
ISAF Training and Development Manager Dan Jaspers remarked,
"Iceland is exactly the kind of country that we need to be supporting in our new training initiatives. It has a rich cultural heritage involving the sea, outstanding natural resources and an enthusiastic, dedicated and passionate group of individuals who, as coaches, want to help Iceland and the Sailing Association leave a legacy for future generations of sailors. If it is our help and practical support they want, then that's exactly what they are going to get. That's the reason we are here. I look forward to seeing Icelandic sailors at more international events in the future.'
Ulfur H. Hrobjartsson, president of Icelandic Sailing Association remarked,
"I have been personally interested in the ISAF Connect to Sailing program since 2004 and it has already proved very beneficial for sailing in Iceland. Thanks to Connect to Sailing we have had access to Training publications which we have translated and published with great success".
"We have also used the ISAF Connect to Sailing Initiative to purchase over 30 Topper Topaz's from Topper International as a dedicated two person training boat. These boats are now spread over all the sailing clubs in Iceland and will help us to
Build a strong base for the sport of sailing in years to come".
Connect to Sailing page: www.sailing.org/connecttosailing/partners.php
"We contacted Dan Jaspers, Training and Development Manager at ISAF shortly after he joined the ISAF team last year, in order to enquire about the new programmes that were taking place within Connect to Sailing. After a further meeting at the ISAF Annual Meeting in Busan, we came to an agreement to host a train the Trainers'workshop in Iceland this Spring".
"Dan Jaspers and ISAF Trainer Mike Hart came here and delivered a lively and energetic four days of training that left all of the 15 Icelandic participants inspired and willing to do more for sailing in the future. As a result the Icelandic Sailing Association now has a strong group of coaches not only with better knowledge of the job and ways of delivering it, but also enthusiastic about sailing and spreading the word".
"Thank you Dan and Mike for a great workshop and creating sailing ambassadors in Iceland"
For more information on what the group did please look at the ISAF Connect to Sailing Facebook page at www.facebook.com/#!/pages/ISAF-Connect-to-Sailing/132505105756?ref=ts
or visit the Icelandic Sailing Association website at www.silsport.is
If your MNA would like to host a Training Course for Sail Training Coaches, please go to the Training and Development pages on the ISAF Website www.sailing.org/training or click here to contact Dan Jaspers, ISAF Training and Development Manager.