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5 June 2013, 02:50 pm
First Steps To National Development In Madagascar
Course participants in Madagascar
Course participants in Madagascar

Madagascar Yachting and Rowing Squadron

The Madagascar Yachting and Rowing Squadron successful hosted an ISAF Level 1 Technical Course for Participation oriented Coaches from 20-29 May in Diego Suarez.
The training was delivered by ISAF Nominated Expert Rob Holden who has been appointed by the ISAF Training and Development Department as a Regional Development Co-ordinator (RDC) for Group Q countries in sub-Saharan Africa.

Specifically targeting the skills required to take existing experienced sailors and helping them develop the techniques required to coach sailing within their club, region or country, 10 national candidates (2 female, 8 male) were nominated by the Madagascan Member National Authority (MNA).

ISAF Nominated Expert Rob Holden said of the training, "The level 1 course in Madagascar was different to any others that I have been involved with as there really is little to no sailing infrastructure in Madagascar and the people who attended the course had even less experience. Sometimes however it is a help to start with a clean slate and the course certainly had a huge impact on the community and received a great deal of high profile media coverage across the whole country. The people in Madagascar are very keen to support the sport of sailing, especially in the coastal areas. During the course we were based in the North of the country and I personally believe that the young Dow (local traditional boat) sailors will very quickly become competitive on the international scene if exposed to the right ISAF Classes. The big challenge here is to get equipment into the country and then train a couple of people to deliver and manage the training."

Due to the limited level of sailing experience, candidates were put through a number of both on and off-water activities designed to teach them a variety of ways in which their personal sailing skills will be able to develop within a newly created National Sail Training Programme syllabus and coaching framework. The generic basic aspects of delivering safe coaching experiences and catering for a variety of learning styles were covered in the later stages of the course and ISAF is now working to arrange a follow up visit to maintain the development momentum within this group..

ISAF Expert Rob Holden and Madagascar Yachting and Rowing Squadron President Brice Jacobson Andrianirina also visited Zafy Albert High School in Diego Suarez in order to explain to the young people from two different year group classes what a rewarding sport sailing can be. An O'pen Bic boat was set up in the playground for the children to explore.

President Brice Jacobson, an ISAF Training Scholarship Graduate from 2012 said of the course, "A thousands honourable thanks to ISAF and the staff for introducing a new sailing era here in Madagascar. We will now achieve great things with this support."

Dan Jaspers, ISAF Training and Development Manager added, "What makes the process of delivering global development programmes is that we are never exposed to the same conditions and experiences twice. Our team of experts is continuously growing their 'toolbox' of personal, professional understanding of what it takes to start, grow, develop and maintain National Training Programmes. What we have seen here in Madagascar is an MNA that 2 years ago did not exist and has opened its doors to welcome the support of ISAF in sharing what we know from our wealth of experience. Coming from a developed training programme it is sometimes easy to show a lack of understanding of what it must be like to have nothing. The willingness shown by Brice Jacobson and the team of enthusiastic future coaches in Madagascar gives me in a real sense that even bigger changes are going to happen out there, and happen fast. I look forward to seeing this and will be there for our MNA at every step of their journey."

All course pictures are available from our dedicated ISAF Training and Development Facebook page here.

For more information on how your MNA can host an ISAF Technical Course for Coaches, Attend the ISAF Training Scholarship and for all related Training and Development information on how to develop National Sail Training Programmes, please visit our dedicated website page.
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