In the final phase of country qualification for the 2008 Olympic Games, taking place in Beijing this Summer, the International 470 Class Association supports National Authorities around the World and their talented two person dinghy sailors to take a last chance to reach the minimum requirements set by ISAF, in conjunction with the International Olympic Committee (IOC), to participate in the Olympic Sailing Regatta.
The support is defined in the Olympic Pathway Solidarity Grant (OPSG), launched by 470 Internationale in the end of 2006, aiming at the support of talented 470 sailors with sailing ambitions and abilities on Olympic levels who find financial or infrastructural obstacles on their way to Olympic Qualification.
The 470 World Championships that will take place from 21 to 30 January in Melbourne, Australia, will be the last event where sailors can qualify their country for the two person dinghy sailing sport discipline for both Men and Women at the Beijing Olympics.
With a budget of over 10.000 Euros for the 2008 edition of the OPSG, the 470 Class finances transport or charter fees for those crews who have not qualified their country and have been admitted to the 2008 edition of the OPSG Programme.
'Sports development is not a logical issue in all countries around the world. This does not mean that such countries do not have sportsmen that have the same enthusiasm, talent and especially: the Olympic dream. As a class with an Olympic status, we feel it as an obligation to contribute to the Olympic philosophy. Participating at the Olympic Games must be an issue of sports and dreams for all, and not a matter of money. said Alberto PREDIERI, President of 470 Internationale.
The first edition of the OPSG Programme in 2007, also with a budget of over 20.000 Euros, provided in six fully equipped charter boats from licensed builder Nautivela, to give the first six crews admitted to the programme a chance to qualify their country for the 2008 Olympics at the ISAF Sailing World Championships in Portugal last Summer. In addition to this equipment support and with the support of Dolphin Maritime based in The Netherlands, 470 Internationale provided in a training camp prior to this Championship and coaching during the event.
The OPSG is one of the programmes in the extensive package of Sailors Support Programmes of the International 470 Class Association. The budget of 30.000 Euros concerns core cost, and is excluding the work of management committee members who provide their services on a voluntary base.
'With the support through this programme we do not only want to help campaigning sailors with equipment and money. We also focus on knowledge transfer and expect those who receive our support to share the knowledge they have gained and support the development of sailing, and especially 470 sailing, in their country'. said Marta WEORES, 1st Vice President.
470 Internationale Sailors Support Programmes: http://www.470.org/
470 World Championships 2008: http://www.470.org/champ08/world/