Wednesday 19 August 2009 | Published in Regional
Thursday 13: Cook Islands sailors Helema Williams and Taua Elisa have been putting their bodies and sailing skills to the test in Australia where they are taking part in the Emerging Nations Programme in Perth.
The pair is in a team of nine sailors from across the globe taking part in the inaugural programme.
Acclaimed Australian Olympic sailing coach Arthur Brett and 2000 Sydney Olympic Games gold medallist in the women’s 470 class Belinda Stowell are guiding the sailors and sharing the knowledge and skill that has seen the pair help spearhead modern Australian Olympic sailing success.
The Emerging Nations Programme is designed to encourage and assist developing and emerging sailing nations to take part in the Olympic Sailing Competition, increase the number of competitors at the Perth 2011 ISAF Sailing World Championships.
From this World Championship, it is hoped ‘emerging’ talent identified during the programme will qualify to represent their country in sailing at the 2012 London Olympic Games.
As well as sailing training sessions and intense fitness work, the sailors were advised on what they can continue to do upon their return home to set short and long term goals.
“Belinda and my responsibility for the development of these athletes does not end once they board their flights home,” said Brett.
“We need to be able to assist them in the future to ensure what they have learned with us over the past 10 days continues to be implemented when Belinda and I aren’t there in person.”
“Belinda and I requested each athlete make a commitment to themselves that they would leave this camp and continue to practice the techniques and utilise the tactics and strategies they have all learned with us, which have helped each of them dramatically improve their sailing ability and competitiveness.” - Matariki Wilson