The St Vincent and the Grenadines Sailing Association (SVGSA), will soon have a Development for a National Sporting Structure(DNSS) in full effect.
As a means of framing out the DNSS programme, the SVGSA has the services of World Sailing coach-Rob Holden, who is lending his expertise.
Holden who is on 10 day visit to St Vincent and the Grenadines, will be gathering data, making observations and hold forums with members of the SVG Olympic Committee and government officials, all critical components to the process.
Holden will return to the country in August to commence segments of implementation.
Holden told SEARCHLIGHT about some of the areas that are key to the DNSS, notably increasing the numbers involved in the sport.
“ There is small number of people sailing… We need to get more people sailing to get more talent out of that so the bigger the numbers, the better the level as they can push one another, therefore, we have to create opportunities for as many children as possible on the island to get involved in the sport of Sailing.”
Outlining some of the goals of a fully operational DNSS, Holden said, “Our short -term plan is to develop a competition structure within St Vincent and the Grenadines, so that the children could compete in an organized structure”.
He added that before the competition, there has to other structures established such as a sturdy coaching programme.
“ Creating Sailing Schools is another important factor so the sport can be taught properly… We also have to develop the coaches so that they can develop sailors to become champions rather than just having them race around”, Holden pointed out.
Looking beyond the sport, Holden, who is no stranger to this country, said he wants to see greater emphasis being placed in Sailing as an industry.
“ There is a lot work to be done in the Sailing industry as there are lots of opportunities for the young people to get work in the water sport industry … We are not training our people to work on boats at the high level… We are not creating opportunities for tourists to come here and really experience getting on a boat with people who know what they are doing”, Holden reasoned.
He underscored the need for the Government to shape policies that would impact Sailing as a livelihood.
“Governments obviously determine the direction of where they are going, so we need their support to help us in the tourism route… This can be done by encouraging water sport tourism in the country, also help the direction of the career pathways for the youngsters”, the World Sailing Coach noted.
The National Sports System guidelines in the 2021-2024 Development Plan of Olympic Solidarity notes that the purpose of DNSS is “To enable the National Olympic Committees (NOCs) to develop and strengthen their basic coaching structures and related sport systems by putting in place a medium- or long-term action plan for one or more sports on the Olympic programme”.