"My colleague Bart van Roessel and I travelled last week from The Netherlands to the Rockley Point Academy in Poole UK to meet a group of seven students that are taking part in the 2012 ISAF Training Scholarship. We were invited by ISAF for two days to help this group to become National Training Managers.
"We found a group with a broad variety of expertise and experience from training / coaching windsurfing, kite boarding and dinghy sailing and even managing the National Federation, with their homelands being all over the world: in Africa, Middle East, Asia and the Pacific. This is a fantastic initiative from ISAF to help emerging nations and their MNA's to start up their own National Training by developing a National Learn to Sail Programme. We are very proud to have been asked explain the Dutch National Training Program as a small part of their eight week training with ISAF.
"We were overwhelmed by the number and variety of questions from this group of highly motivated people. We had prepared a lot of answers about the details of our National Diploma System CWO (Commissie Watersport Opleidingen). This is a co-operative program in which the Watersportverbond (Royal Netherlands Yachting Union). As an ISAF MNA it is working together with two other partners, HISWA (Dutch Maritime Industry) and ANWB (Dutch RAC which is representing the consumers).
"Of course all the student wanted to know every detail and shortly during the first day we realized that 2 days wasn't enough time to explain all they wanted to know. Also we found out that some regulations within our system are not so easy to implement in another country. Together with the group we started thinking where to begin and what to avoid as well as what to aim for in the long term: making the sport of sailing first a firmly based community in the country as a base for structural success.
"For the second day we tried to focus on the managing and training of Inspectors. Included was a mock inspection of the Rockley Academy according to CWO standards. We went out on the water to see a real-time training session and evaluated with the group their observations and the ways to put in an inspection report.
"All too soon we were at the end of our two day session. We loved to do it and are convinced that the whole ISAF Course will be of great help for these young sailing nations."
For anyone wishing to know how they or their country could benefit from this Scholarship Course please visit our website here.
Regular updates, including photographs of all course activity will be shown on our dedicated ISAF Training and Development Facebook page here and updates will be available on Twitter via @connect2sailing
For all of the programmes and initiatives that have been developed by ISAF in order to help increase global participation in the sport, please visit our dedicated training pages here or contact the ISAF Training and Development Department here.