The idea came from Australian Sailing Squad/Victorian Institute of Sport sailor Oliver Tweddell who has been the Victorian Optimist State coach for the last 3 years.
'One of the most common requests when allocating sailors to groups from the girls was, to make sure they weren’t the only girl in their group. They would even be happy to drop down a group to be with another girl. The aim of this weekend is to provide a fun and healthy learning environment for the girls to develop their sailing skill sets, as well as provide some active role models within the sport to encourage greater female participation in sailing.'
We sat down at a committee meeting and the idea was a great success and VIODA jumped at the chance to run the weekend. After putting the flyer out for the weekend we were amazed by the response with all available spots being taken within a few days, leading us to increase numbers and provide an additional coach.
Greg Sharman (VIODA Training Coordinator) managed to secure the use of Black Rock Yacht Club for the training camp. Black Rock Yacht Club has a very active junior sailing program and is a perfect location for the training. This program has also received a lot of support from Yachting Victoria.
The Girls will be treated to high quality female coaches overseen by Head Coach Oliver Tweddell, which we hope may achieve greater interaction and development for the sailors.
The coaches for the weekend will be; Oliver Tweddell (Head Coach), Anna Philip (U17 Female Radial World Champion), Eliza Solly (U19 Female 29er European Champion) and Tess Lloyd (U19 Female 29er European Champion).
There will also be an inspirational guest appearance from Jessica Watson, as well as an evening dinner and question and answer session with the coaches on the Saturday afternoon.
VIODA plans to make this an annual occurrence and other States are also getting behind this initiative for girls only training weekends.