Muscat, September 23rd 2019: The excellent recent performances by Oman Sail’s youth sailors at international events were recognised and celebrated at a special ceremony held under the patronage of H.E. Mohammed Hamdan Al Tobi, advisor to the Ministry of Education. A total of 18 young sailors and nine of their coaches were awarded with certificates of achievement at Oman Sail HQ in Muscat in the presence of school teachers, parents and Oman Sail’s Board of Directors.
The sailors included teams which represented the Sultanate at the 2019 Optimist class World and European championships, the Asian Laser Championships in Singapore, and World and European windsurfing events.
Crediting the Ministry of Education for the success of the youth, Oman Sail CEO David Graham said the whole youth team was “making a considerable impression on the international stage”.
“The development of sailing in the Sultanate starts with the youth and we are grateful to the Ministry of Education for their strategic support. Now that it is forming part of the curriculum in Omani schools, sailing has become accessible to young people. Children as young as eight are given the opportunity to develop their skills out on the water and achieve points that make up part of their national curriculum accreditation.
Oman’s youth sailors are the best in the region, meaning GCC and North Africa. In Asia, we are medaling at the events. Globally, we are achieving remarkable results. To get competitive in sport takes time, but we have fast-tracked this by working together with the parents, schools, teachers and the Ministry of Education.”
Eight members of the Optimist team were praised for their performance at the dinghy class’ World and European championships as well as the international Mussanah Race Week regatta. The sailors were Mohammed Al Qasmi, Saleem Al Alawi, Nibras Al Awaisi, Jihad Al Hasani, Elyas Al Fadhali, Hatem Al Araimi, Al Hassan Al Jabri and Ablaj Al Dughaishi.
Joining them were Laser racers Abdulmalik Al Hanai, Al Mutassim al Farsi, Ali Al Saadi and Al Bara Al Noufl, who were recognised for their results at the Asian Championships, the Al Bareh international event in Bahrain, as well as Mussanah Race Week.
Completing the line-up were Techno and RSX windsurfers Ali Jameel Al Sarhi, Abdulmajeed Al Hadrami, Ali Al-Omrani, Abdullah Al-Sarhi and Usama Al- Breiki who had distinguished themselves at a range of high-level international events. Mohammed Al Balushi was also awarded for Oman’s landmark participation at the 2019 Youth Olympic Games in Buenos Aires.
“We wouldn’t have had such success without the Ministry of Education. The investment in our young people is paying off, and – with our linked initiatives in place – local participation has grown significantly. In July, we welcomed over one hundred and fifty sailors – a record number – to the Oman Sailing Championships in Mussanah. On Saturday, we hosted 135 children from 43 government and private schools at the Renaissance Interschool Regatta, which again reflects the growing local interest in sailing as a sport. We are really happy with the progress and look forward to seeing continued success from the young sailors” said Rashid Al Kindi, Oman Sail’s Acting Director of Sailing.