Poland plays host to sailors from all over the world for educational Paralympic Development Program
Seven sailors from six nations, and their coaches, attended the Paralympic Development Program (PDP) performance clinic in Gdansk, Poland at the National Sailing Centre from 12 - 15 June.
The participants who travelled from Turkey, Ireland, Sweden, Latvia, Colombia and Poland received expert coaching, both in the classroom and out on the water, from World Sailing Regional Development Manager Rob Holden.
South African, Holden, highlighted the importance of the PDP, saying, "We hope the experiences these sailors and their coaches have had will go a long way to creating a legacy back in their own nations.
"We look to instill best practice for coaching and development of Para World Sailing through the shared learning experience of a course like this.
"It has been a very enjoyable few days and we hope everyone leaves having learned lots whilst also having had fun."
Hear from Holden, after he spoke to World Sailing whilst in Gdansk on our Twitter page.
Over the duration of the course, the attendees have developed their knowledge of aspects such as individual training programs, goal setting, boat tuning and much more.
Blind sailor Bernardo Osorio from Colombia, had the longest journey of the participants but had nothing but positive words about his time in Poland. "I have enjoyed being here so much. I don't speak any English but I have made many new friends.
"I am very excited to go back home and share all of my experiences with the people there," exclaimed a smiling Osorio.
His coach, Pablo Sanguinetti, said, "It is my first time in Europe, and Bernardo and myself have enjoyed the clinic a lot. We have both learned so much, which we will take back to Colombia.
"The Paralympic Development Program is very beneficial because you are working alongside teams from different countries and we are learning from each other hugely."
When asked about her experience on the course, Swedish sailor, Charlotte Sjoberg added, "I have found the course very inspiring and I have learnt a lot. Sailing in different conditions to what I am used to has been useful.
"Our course leader Rob Holden has been a great teacher because he has taken us through things step-by-step in a focused way."
"It can be easy to get isolated in your own sailing club back at home so coming here has given us all the chance to exchange experiences and realise how big Para World Sailing is around the world."
Upon completion of the four-day course, participants were awarded their certificates by President of the Polish Yachting Association, Tomasz Chamera.
Afterwards, a smiling Chamera said, "We are working hard supporting World Sailing in their activities to get Para World Sailing reinstated into the Paralympic Games for 2024. This is very important for all of us.
"The Paralympic Development Program is extremely important, not only in terms of development and the unity that it helps to build between different nations but also because it is crucial to sailing returning to the Paralympics."
Just outside of Gdansk itself, the National Sailing Centre proved to be an ideal venue for the clinic.
Commenting on the facility Chamera said, "The venue here is very well prepared for all kinds of activities, not only in terms of performance but in terms of youth and development and as well for Para Sailing because it is accessible and easy for the sailors to use."