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A ‘professional approach’ to training

Friday 9 March 2012 | Published in Regional


Sailing Cook Islands rolled out its 2012 laser class Olympic programme including its Sailing Academy in-country programme this week at the federation’s new headquarters situated at the offices of Maritime Cook Islands in Avarua.

The sailing academy in-country programme will run for the next seven weeks in Aitutaki and Rarotonga where national sailors Helema Williams and Taua Elisa will conduct final preparations before the last Olympic qualifying events are staged in May in England and Germany.

The sailing academy will wrap up with Kiwi Olympian Barbara Kendal’s National Olympic Committee workshop on Thursday, April 19.

After the in-country programme – Williams and Elisa will travel to Europe to train at the Lymington and Weymouth sailing venues in England in preparation for the 2012 World Laser Open (men’s) and Laser Radial (women’s) Championships in Germany in May.

The launch of the Olympic programme this week was an opportunity for Sailing Cook Islands to introduce its new executive team and new national sailing coach Ben Paton.

Paton, who has extensive sailing achievements and credentials, is in Aitutaki training Williams and Elisa as part of the sailing academy programme.

Sailing Cook Islands is thrilled to have secured Paton’s wealth of sailing knowledge and experience – especially in the waters where the Olympic sailing events will be staged.

Junior development programme sailors and local coaches will also benefit from working with Paton while he is on the island.

Team Cook Islands chef de mission George George was at the sailing academy launch this week and was impressed with the professional approach Sailing Cook Islands is taking to ensure that Cook Islands sailors qualify for the 2012 Olympics.

“This is just awesome – Sailing Cook Islands’ professional approach is very encouraging,” says George.

It is this professional approach that George is encouraging other national sporting federations to employ.