Argentina played host to World Sailing’s first Paralympic Development Program (PDP) since launching its Para World Sailing Strategic Plan at the 2016 Annual Conference in Barcelona, Spain.
Held from 22-25 January 2017 at the Club Nautico Mar Del Plata and in conjunction with Federacion Argentina Yachting (FAY), 16 participants from across South America were in attendance with the focus on effective coaching, learning more about the Para World Sailing selected equipment and improving both sailor and coach performance on and off the water.
The PDP clinics aid in increasing Para World Sailing participation globally and are an integral part of World Sailing’s Strategic Plan. Also, there will soon be a disability awareness course which will be included in the level 1 Technical Course for Coaches (TCC).
Club Nautico made great strides to host the PDP making the club accessible for disabled athletes such as creating fully accessible toilets and pontoons. The FAY were also present at the club and made six 2.4 Norlin OD’s and three coach boats available for use during the clinic.
Representing World Sailing at the PDP were Argentinian Para World Sailing coach, Agustin Zucati, World Sailing Nominated Expert, Eduardo Sylvestre and Para World Sailing Manager and London 2012 Paralympian, Massimo Dighe.
Dighe said, “The PDP clinic in Argentina was a great success. We had three people attending who have never sailed before so it goes to show our strategy is starting to work and that these clinics are essential in building participation.
“The clinic also gave me the opportunity to engage with other federations and the South American Paralympic Committee who all emphasized the will to work as a group to expand Paralympic Sailing in the region.”
Showing their commitment to Para World Sailing, the Argentinian Sailing Federation also launched a proposal to host the first South American Paralympic Sailing Championship in October.
Two further PDP clinics are planned for 2017. Hong Kong will host the next one in March followed by Poland in July with dates set to be confirmed.
More information on the Para World Sailing Strategic Plan can be found at http://www.sailing.org/news/41208.php#.WJH0LLGcb-Y.