Sailing launches LTPD programme | SASCOC - SASCOC

Sailing launches LTPD programme

For the past two years South African Sailing (SAS) has been working with the South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (SASCOC) as well as the Department of Sports and Recreation South Africa (SRSA) developing a sports model specific for sailing in South Africa called SAS Long Term Participant Development (LTPD).

This model was developed collectively by sports scientists, yachtsmen, Olympic sailors, administrators, officials and sailing coaches at various levels in an effort to address the short comings in the way we manage and deliver sailing in this country. Thanks to the support received from SASCOC, SA Sailing was privileged to be one of the first 14 national federations in South Africa to work with the world’s leading expert on LTPD and athlete development, Prof Istvan Balyi, Coaching educator, author and presenter at more than 400 conferences internationally on LTPD and coaching.

SAS is proud to have completed the research and development phase of the SAS LTPD model and we are now able to launch this important document that will influence sailors, coaches, officials, leaders and administrators. The SAS LTPD final document was officially handed over to SASCOC on 16 November. Mr Tubby Reddy, SASCOC CEO, signed approval and acceptance of the document together with Mr Rob M’Crystal, SAS President, and Mr Mike Dixon, SAS Chairman.

For many years sailing has experienced a decline in entry level numbers and entries at national championships. As a nation we have witnessed a decline over the past 20 years, from being one of the leading sailing countries in the world with many world titles, to the current situation, where we are unlikely to produce medals on the world stage.

With so much tradition in this sport, it’s been a classic case of ÔÇ£doing the same thing again and again, expecting different resultsÔÇØ. Sailing clubs in South Africa are struggling to survive and are unable to find the resources necessary for important transformation and development initiatives that could boost this amazing, multi-dimensional sport.

Sailing is one of the oldest sports in South Africa with some clubs more than 100 years old. It is still a highly competitive Olympic discipline and offers many adventurous career opportunities. It is also a fantastic recreational activity offering families a healthy outdoor lifestyle in one of the most sailing friendly and outdoor appealing countries in the world.

Children as young as seven years old and adults over 70 are able to participate in this sport at various levels, from novice to high performance, from one person dinghies to large keelboats and catamarans. It appeals equally to women and men, whether athletically adept or disabled. Through the SAS LTPD, SAS aims to change the way it ÔÇ£does businessÔÇØ in order to address three key strategies, namely to GROW the sport at every level, to SUSTAIN by retaining sailors as active for life, and finally to EXEL by adopting development age appropriate training programmes that will ultimate produce international medal winners.

The Official Launch of SAS LTPD to its members  takes place on the Day of Reconciliation (16 December) at the Southern Charters SAS Youth National Championship taking place in Hermanus. This event usually attracts over 200 youth sailors from around the country in multiple disciplines.

At this launch coaches, parents and officials will have access to the appropriate LTPD guidebooks and the posters on LTPD will be distributed to all 100 yacht clubs in this country. In March 2012, SAS will host an LTPD Symposium where the details of LTPD will be discussed in depth and each interested group will have the opportunity to explore how, when and why they will adopt LTPD at every level, from club to national championships.

SAS LTPD will effectively have the input from every vested beneficiary and stakeholder in this country, from grassroots to government, and it is the aim of SAS to officially implement the much needed changes as soon as next season (July 2012 onwards). This sports model will have an impact on club structures, club development, facilities, transformation policies, coaching systems, training programmes, inclusion in school sports, competition reviews, selection criteria for development and high performance squads, administration and marketing of sailing, and of course leadership and management in all aspects of sailing in this country.

SAS looks forward to the day when we once again boast Olympic and World Champions.