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ISAF Training Scholarship–Iceland and Trinidad and Tobago make it five

by International Sailing Federation on 25 Aug 2011
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The ISAF Training and Development Department is pleased to announce that the IOC Olympic Solidarity department has agreed to fund two Training Scholarship candidates from Trinidad and Tobago and one from Iceland.

Both Trinidad and Tobago and Iceland have, through joining the Scholarship Course, become the eighth and ninth ISAF Member National Authority (MNA) to benefit from the ISAF Training Scholarship since its creation in 2010 and take the amount of IOC funding that ISAF Members have benefitted from in 2011 to over $100,000 USD.

The scholarship will run in partnership with the Rockley Academy in the UK from 5 September to 28 October 2011.

Anna Ólöf Kristófersdóttir was identified as suitable for the course by ISAF Training and Development Manager Dan Jaspers and Icelandic Sailing Association President Ulfur Hrobjartsson after lengthy discussions following both a Technical Course for Coaches run in 2009 and a National Training Programme review visit completed by ISAF Trainer Mike Hart in 2010. Just last week the Icelandic Olympic Committee confirmed that Anna's application had been submitted to the IOC and that the funding had been successfully allocated by the Olympic Solidarity Department of the IOC.

On the good news Ms Kristófersdóttir said, 'I want to thank ISAF, IOC and SÍL (Icelandic Sailing Association) for giving me this great opportunity. I believe that I will learn a great deal of new ways and ideas that I can bring back to Iceland to help develop our sailing community.

'I am really looking forward to see what challenging tasks they will throw at us during the course. I am sure it will be interesting, challenging and a lot of hard work but at the same time I believe I will enjoy it. It is my hope that with more international accreditation we can show that we are doing this for real and we are aiming to grow and get bigger and better.'

On completion of her eight week programme at the Rockley Academy Anna will return to a newly created role as Training Manager of the Icelandic National Learn to Sail Training Programme. 'In the years I have been a part of the Icelandic sailing community I have seen it grow rapidly; however I believe that we are just starting and that there are opportunities to grow a lot more.

'Iceland is a small island and most Icelanders live near the seashore and we have many locations perfect for water sports that need to be introduced to the sport. Sailing is not big in Iceland yet and we need to work on increasing grassroots participation. It is my hope that with further training of coaches and their trainers and a well thought out National Learn to Sail Training Program we can improve the quality of the training offered in Iceland.'

With previous Training Scholarship candidates having great success in their countries since completing their Scholarships, Anna will no doubt be keen to get back to Iceland and implement the processes and programmes that the ISAF Scholarship will help her develop. The eight weeks of the Course have been tailor made to suit the issues that create the biggest barriers in setting up and maintaining a National Sail Training Programme.

SIL President Ulfur Hrobjartsson said of this development, 'After seeing a decline in sailing in Iceland we, the Icelandic Sailing Association, saw education and training for instructors and trainers the way forward. Our first steps were to publish books on sailing and bring those who were responsible for training together and set a framework to use for training.

'The results were quick and obvious with a little education and coordination youth participation increased substantially. Although we are on the right track we know that we need to increase our education programs to better standard and practices.'

Mr Hrobjartsson concludes by explaining how the work of the ISAF Training and Development Department and Development and Youth Committee has been an important factor in the process, 'By entering into the training programmes that ISAF has developed for its members we hope that we can bring our training and practices up to an international standard. This will result in better education and abilities for our sailors and bring the sport to a higher standard in Iceland. An internationally recognized training program will also result in better funding and then further opportunity to increase participation in the sport of sailing.'

For Trinidad and Tobago Mr Rodin Acosta and Mr Earl Tobias were identified by ISAF Trainer Tim Cross on an IOC funded Technical Course for Coaches hosted by the TTSA last year and after months of discussions between ISAF, the Trinidad and Tobago Sailing Association (ISAF Member) and the TTOC (National Olympic Committee), the funding for both candidates was successfully allocated last week.

Of his thoughts on the course Mr Earl Tobias said, 'I look forward to every aspect of the course with particular interest in the techniques of presentation and management of programs.

'Having taught sailing to both young people and adults for over twelve years and having a passion for the sport, I am keen on applying the knowledge gained on the ISAF Scholarship to help further develop young sailors into well rounded and better athletes. The techniques gained will help me with my communication skills as I grow and develop relationships with different entities, and overall the continuous development of the sport of sailing in Trinidad and Tobago.'

With previous Training Scholarship candidates having great success in their countries since completing their Scholarships, both Mr Acosta and Mr Tobias will no doubt be keen to get back to Trinidad and Tobago and implement the processes and programmes that the ISAF Scholarship will help them develop. The eight week course has been tailor made to suit the issues that create the biggest barriers in setting up and maintaining a National Sail Training Programme.

Mr James Arrindell, representative of the TTSA said of this development, 'We must thank ISAF for all their assistance in achieving this result. Without this dedicated link to the IOC Olympic Solidarity Department feel we may have had to drop out, as our own funding for this most necessary project may never have materialized. Thanks to Dan Jaspers and the ISAF team for all of their kind assistance.'

For anyone wishing to know how they or their MNA could benefit from this course please visit our website here or visit the Rockley Academy site here.

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, email: training@isaf.co.uk.
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