Muscat: The heart of Oman Sail's mission is to uses the power of sport to contribute to the development of Oman's youth and the road to success looks set to be fast tracked with the launch of the 2013 Youth Programme Training Scheme.
Since the Youth Programme was established one year ago, Oman Sail has directed its efforts and resources at equipping local people from across Oman with the skills to coach talented young sailors coming through the sailing schools and the community program.
By the end of 2020, there will be eight sailing school's spanning the coastline of Oman which will have introduced 70,000 Omanis to sailing. The sailing schools are managed by an Omani team, and have clear guidance and continual development from Oman Sail's international experts. The instructors for each school are selected from the local area. They are trained and qualified to the highest international standards.
All the sailing schools follow Oman Sail's Learn to Sail programme, which has been accredited by ISAF (World Sailing Governing Body).
This ensures that high standards are maintained and all sailing schools are inspected regularly.
There is a clear career pathway that allows the progression of each instructor within the team, assuming that the right skills and attitude are demonstrated.
From the outset, the focus was on high quality training aimed at motivated and passionate coaches who valued the importance of rekindling Oman's maritime heritage and took pride in creating role models who could achieve sporting excellence in sailing and clearly convey its blessings to the people of Oman to create good citizens. Abdul Aziz Al Shidi is one such coach. The Oman Sail youth sailing coordinator was one of the first to be involved in the youth programme and although at first, he thought he wanted to be a youth coach. Abdul Aziz realised, after travelling abroad and seeing first-hand the level of youth sailing that the level required was very high but that other countries had no more advantages than sailors and coaches in Oman.
As a child, Suhail Al Maiyahi never had the opportunity to sail but after becoming involved with Oman Sail, now dreams of coaching a young Omani Optimist sailor to a world championship title.
Said Al Araimi has been involved in the Oman Sail Youth Programme from the start. He is the youth sailing coordinator but his goal is to run a sailing school in his hometown. Both have benefited from the training resources brought in by Oman Sail to broaden their experience and skills, including sessions in how to 'inspire, motivate and instil confidence' in youngsters and tutorials from experts such as US National Team coach Scott Lindley who ran a coaching clinic.
The first training course of the 2013 Youth Programme Training Scheme will take place from January 26 to February 6. Oman Sail's Youth Programme Manager, Marina Psichogiou said: "The key to a working youth programme is our people. The better the level is the more chances we have to achieve our objectives. Oman Sail is investing heavily in the development of our youth program team, in terms of time, effort and of course funds.
The training does not end with the two week programme. The scheme includes further training for the coaches in 2013 including a specially designed training camp in Lanzarote, Spain, for the Omani Optimist coaches which is planned for May, during the school exams.
In addition, there will be a week long training camp for coaches in Oman run by an international coach in early June, followed by the first week of summer training camps for sailors run by the Omani coaches under the guidance of the international coach, focussing on preparing sailors for the ISAF Youth Worlds and the IODA Africans.
The last training camp of the season will be a two week training camp for sailors in Oman run by the Omani coaches under the guidance of an international coach which will take place in August after Ramadan.