The Aitutaki Sailing Academy, Cook Islands successfully hosted the final Santander 2014 Emerging Nations Programme (S14ENP) Regional Technical Course for Sailors and Coaches from 18-24 May.
Funded by the IOC Olympic Solidarity Programme through the Oceanic National Olympic Committee (ONOC) and Cook Islands Sport and National Olympic Committee (CISNOC) a team of ISAF Nominated Experts delivered the course to 24 coaches and 11 sailors.
Tim Cross and Jordi Lamarca, assisted by Medical / Fitness Expert Carmen Vaz Pardal as well as local Cook Islands Sport Development Officers Taua Elisa Henry, Junior Charlie and London 2012 Olympian Helema Williams.
Sailors and coaches were sent by several ISAF Oceanic MNAs including Cook Islands, Tahiti, Fiji, Papua New Guinea, Samoa and New Caledonia.
Representatives from Australia and New Zealand travelled to attend an Oceanic Sailing Federation (OSAF) meeting during the course and were able to see how this development was supporting the growth of sailing in the region.
The regional training courses of the S14ENP have been specifically targeting the skills required for experienced sailors and coaches required to develop the National Training Programmes that will help their MNA be able to attend high level competitions such as the 2014 ISAF Sailing World Championships in Santander, Spain.
Participants from all eight Regional Courses (Cook Islands, South Africa, Algeria, Indonesia, Dominican Republic, Peru, Spain, Qatar) will soon be invited by the hosts in Santander to attend a number of High Performance workshops in Spain which will continue to deliver more skill development and provide an opportunity to sail at the World Championship venue ahead of the event next year.
The course included both practical and theoretical sessions covering a number of key areas:
• Personal preparation (Physical and psychological),
• Rules of Sailing and their application,
• Understanding Sailing Instructions,
• Boat Preparation and maintenance,
• Developing National Qualification Structures for Coaching,
• Continual Professional Development
• Post-course follow up for Sailors and Coaches.
ISAF Nominated Expert Tim Cross said of the training, "It was obvious from day one that we had a unique range of coaching experiences on the course including past Olympic sailors and Pacific Games medallists, right through to those whose key focus was to provide local grass roots training.
"The enthusiasm and sharing of innovative ideas from the participating coaches was genuinely enlightening to see. The course provided a great forum for the exchanging of ideas and best practice. Apart from the near perfect daily 10 - 15 knot winds the highlights from the week were the enjoyable interactive Racing Rules of Sailing workshops provided by Nominated Expert Jordi Lamarca and the fitness and nutrition advice provided by Spanish sports medical expert Carmen Vaz Pardal.
"It was refreshing to see the sailors change their eating habits during the week based upon the advice given. I am looking forward to observing the successful future development of both sailor and coach development programmes in the Oceanic region.
"The hospitality and organisational efforts by volunteers from Sailing Cook Island and the Oceanic Sailing Federation made for a very successful course with all visiting participants expressing wishes that they would like to return to Aitutaki for competitive sailing and training in the future."
All course pictures are available from our dedicated ISAF Training and Development Facebook page here
Dan Jaspers, ISAF Training and Development Manager added, "This was the last of the regional development courses that ISAF and the Santander Sailing World Championship team have organised as part of the 2014 Emerging Nations Programme. I would like to thank John Tierney and the entire OSAF / SCI support team who made it possible. With eight courses run over the last year I am very excited to see how many of these sailors and coaches will now return to alongside more developed nations attending the 2014 Worlds as well as other international competitions. I believe that this collaboration has brought many more of our MNAs closer to ISAF not in a geographical sense but physically nonetheless. By having ISAF Nominated Experts visiting and delivering training in venues that would otherwise not see much contact directly with ISAF we have built up a whole new set of contacts and been able to re-invigorate a number of existing coaches and sailors that had thought that not much was happening in their country as well as inspiring a number of new coaches to do more for their MNA/ region in order to develop the programmes that, with ISAFs support, can help grow the number of local sailors and possible future champions."
For more information on how your MNA can host an ISAF Technical Course for Coaches and for all related Training and Development information on how to develop National Sail Training Programmes, please visit our dedicated website page www.sailing.org/training