Inspiring the Next Generation of Paralympic Sailors
Published on August 24th, 2016
One fundamental aim of the Olympic and Paralympic Games is to inspire the next generation, and with the Rio 2016 Paralympic Sailing Competition just around the corner we look at the World Sailing Paralympic Development Program (PDP) which has that aim at its core.
The PDP aims to increase numbers in the Paralympic classes by hosting clinics at clubs around the world, offering development opportunities to both sailors and coaches. The overall goal is to create a lasting Paralympic legacy in the host region increasing the participation of sailors and the number of performance coaches worldwide.
Another part of the Paralympic development is the option of dedicated 2.4 Norlin OD charter boats at International events and the attendance of Para World Sailing coaches who are available to any competitors that may require some extra assistance. Still getting to grips with the 2.4 Norlin OD fleet, Sweden’s Fia Fjelddahl took up the opportunity at the 2016 Para World Sailing Championships in Medemblik, the Netherlands.
Fjelddahl explains why the coaching help was much needed for her, “I am quite new in the class so having someone who knows the class more has really helped me. They have the experience and can show me and share their experience with me.”
There was another option for Fjelddahl, but the Para World Sailing coach was the better for her, “I had Brian as a coach who was really good. I could have had the Finnish coach, but he was more focused on the Finnish sailor, Niko [Salomaa]. So I wouldn’t have had the right amount of attention. But Brian talked about the weather, how to set up the boat and things that I needed to improve.”
The ‘Brian’ Fjelddahl is talking about is Brian Todd from Canada. Todd is a member of the Para World Sailing Committee and is just one of many coaches that will be available throughout the future events.
Coaching at events and the PDP will be picking up even more pace following the upcoming Paralympic Games with clinic dates and venues set to be confirmed very shortly as World Sailing looks to build on the success of the sailing at Rio 2016.
More information on the PDP: http://www.sailing.org/sailors/disabled/paradevprogram.php
The Rio 2016 Paralympic Games will take place on September 7-18 with the sailing scheduled to be raced on September 12-17 in Guanabara Bay at in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Details.
Source: World Sailing