The Sudan Sailing Federation, held their first training course for Optimist Sailing at the Blue Nile Sailing Club in Khartoum. This was a ten day course that took place from the 1-10 March 2010. The aim being that by the end of the ten days, both the coaches and children involved would have grasped the basic concept and would then be able to practice the art of Optimist Sailing further. The course was free for all involved and was funded by the IODA.
An Algerian Optimist Sailing Instructor was brought in to train twelve coaches and forty eight children in the art of Optimist Sailing. He had a good command of the Arabic language and took a lot of care in properly guiding the amateur sailors in building their confidence and courage in sailing the Optimist boats. The classes would always start with a bit of theory followed by practice. The theory gave the children a basic idea of the boat parts, sailing terminology, importance of wearing a life jacket and using the wind to control the boats. Initially the children were accompanied by an adult coach during the practical. After the second lesson, however, the children sailed the boats on their own with the coaches on rowing boats and jet skis near by giving further instructions and guidance and aiding anyone in trouble.
Following the ten day course, the coaches at the BNSC (Blue Nile Sailing Club) then re-initiated training for the above mentioned parties in April 2010. The classes have been divided into morning and afternoon classes and take place twice a week on Saturdays and Wednesdays.
It is anticipated that these classes will help the children to further practice and fine tune their sailing skills and prepare them for future national and hopefully international events.
For more details on the International Optimist Dinghy Association visit: www.optiworld.org