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Top 26 men and women recruited from 520 applicants as trainee sailing instructors ahead of new school opening in Sur in November

Oman Sail this week welcomed 26 outstanding men and women selected from a record 520 applicants for training as sailing instructors as part of preparations for November’s opening of the first sailing school in the Sur region.

The group of 12 male and 14 women recruits who came out on top after a rigorous selection process to identify the most suitable candidates were in Muscat for a two day Oman Sail “onboarding” introduction course before embarking on a six month “jump start” training programme.

Neil Coxon, Oman Sail Director of Sailing Development, said it was a great pleasure to welcome new trainee instructors of such high calibre after an intensive selection process that started with a pool of over 500 young Omani applicants.

“It is the biggest response we have ever had and these new trainees stood out among the many outstanding applicants in terms of excellent attitude and a real understanding of what was required for working outside in the heat, doing manual work and having the patience to be a good teacher.”

Masoud Al Maskary, Oman Sail HR director, thanked Mr Salim Al-Ruzaiqi, deputy director general of the Ministry of Manpower in Sur and the Manpower database Authority based in Muscat for providing Oman Sail with a list of potential candidates.

Of the 284 men and 236 women aged between 20 and 30 years old who signed up to join Oman Sail’s first sailing instructors trainee programme in the Sur region, 184 men and 116 women were chosen to go through to the first interview stage of the selection process.

The most suitable 64 men and 40 women interviewed then took part in a one off activity day to assess their ability for the position, after which the selected group took part in a full week of activities and assessments before the final selection was made.

The Oman Sail sailing school in Sur, which has Oman LNG as its main sponsor, will be the fourth of eight projected sailing schools to be established in the Sultanate of Oman as part of an initiative that uses the power of sport to contribute to the development of the country.

The target is for over 70 000 young Omanis to learn to sail by 2020 with those wishing to make it their sport or career supported by a “Pathway to Excellence” development programme that will nurture the best to represent Oman at international events and world championships and ultimately win a medal at the 2024 Olympic Games.

Coxon said the huge response from the Sur region was particularly satisfying evidence of the ever expanding reach of Oman Sail’s core philosophy that the power and value of sport can contribute to the development of Omani youth.

“We’ve found that the best way to develop the sport of sailing is by having Omani instructors as role models for our youngsters and this is why it is essential that all our staff for each sailing school come from the local area.

“We already have 50 qualified sailing instructors, all of whom are Omani, working at our three established sailing schools and this new group of trainees further illustrates our continuing commitment to developing talented instructors to take on this responsibility.

“It is very gratifying that our qualified Omani instructors will themselves now be training up a new generation of instructors and clearly illustrates how skills can be passed on and how development doesn’t stop once they’ve passed the instructor course. It is all part of a long term project.”

Al Maskary, Oman Sail HR director, said the basic training course for the new trainees includes a dinghy instructor assessment, a powerboat driving course, a First Aid Course and training in a number of soft skills covering a broad spectrum of areas that tie in with the tuition of technical skills.

“These include the development of a strong work ethic, qualities needed for working in a team, emotional intelligence and technical English especially with reference to sailing and customer service,” he said.

Other important areas of instruction will include teaching techniques for working with both children and adults, safety issues with regards to working with children, teaching mixed ability classes.Environment awareness, time management and events planning are also included in the training programme.

One of the new sailing instructor trainees, Ahmed Moubark Al Areimi, 34, said he applied to do the instructors course with Oman Sail because his family loves sport and having grown up on the coast he loves most water sports. His ambition is to be a national team coach for the Laser class when the new sailing school opens in Sur.

“I would like to be a sailing instructor because I can contribute to develop good sailors and represent Oman around the world. I would also like to be good at what I do and give back to the community by teaching others,” said Ahmed Al Areimi who has a background in IT and has done open water, night and day diving lessons.

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