If you are looking for medals at International and Olympic level, you can't deny that having plenty of sailors to choose from, who will represent your country, is a high priority. What if one of these future stars has never sailed before and yet is gifted beyond the kind of sailing that can be rammed home by endless coaching sessions? How is this person identified? Training at grass roots, for individuals who would otherwise have no way of accessing this amazing sport can be difficult without a National Training Programme (NTP).
The most important tool, outside of those with the vision and passion to drive the idea, is the team of Instructors that will deliver the fun, friendly, safe, informative, personalised training at grass roots. Getting these individuals trained up to a standard whereby they can go and Instruct can be daunting and sometimes difficult to arrange.
Many of you ask me daily 'How do I actually get started?' My answer is that each ISAF MNA has no shortage of sources of help.
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Rockley International has been providing development support for MNA's since they became the first Connect to Sailing Partner three years ago and have a generic programme that can be tailored to develop the skills of an MNA sailor to the level required to become a full blown Sailing Instructor. They are working with us at ISAF to provide unique four to six week courses, which can be part funded / subsidised by International Funds, to help countries build this much needed resource.
Course content includes Safety Boat Training, Dinghy Instructing Techniques, planning and running water based and shore-based educational sessions, seamanship skills and performance sailing techniques. If you feel that this is what is needed for your MNA and would like to get hold of Rockley International to discuss details, go to the Connect to Sailing Page at www.sailing.org/connecttosailing or ISAF Connect to Sailing Facebook page, where they are to be found under the favourite pages link, to discuss the planning of a course for you then please follow the link on the website or contact me in the Training and Development Department.
I look forward to speaking to many more of you and working together to develop a global training network a provision of access to the sport for generations to come.