Yachting New Zealand is set to streamline its development pathway for young sailors and coaches this winter following a review of its existing programmes.
The review was conducted with the support of Sport New Zealand's Sport Development Fund to identify member clubs’ needs around junior sailor development and the coach development structure supporting it.
“It has been a while since our development programmes had a facelift and for us to equip our diverse clubs with functional resources, we need to better understand their unique needs,” said Kirsten Moratz, Yachting NZ’s coach development manager.
The review compared Yachting NZ’s current offering with those from other sporting organisations, both sailing and other codes, and received member club and organisation feedback through surveys and interviews with affiliated clubs and coaches.
It was conducted by experienced YNZ coach developer and learn to sail head coach Justin Hurst and was carried out between July and November 2022.
Yachting NZ’s LTS programme is the only internationally recognised course of its kind in New Zealand and is offered by qualified coaches at clubs and sailing schools around the country. The programme consists of three levels, provided via two booklets, and includes various online resources.
The learn to sail coach course offers an entry to coaching through several pathways, depending on experience and age, as well as an online safety and ethics programme followed by a combination of on-water and in-class sessions.
Recommendations from the review include updating resources to be more user-friendly for coaches and sailors, considering provisions in the coaching pathway that caters for both volunteer and professional coaches and linking in opportunities provided by Yachting NZ’s RŪNĀ school engagement framework.
“We will be sharing with clubs more information on our proposed next steps around the learn to sail programme and coach development in due course,” Moratz said.
“We would like to thank everyone who contributed to the review – we appreciate the feedback from our communities, and we look forward to refining our programmes to better suit our young sailors and coaches.”
Select clubs that completed the survey as part of the review will also receive one free admission to a coaching course of their choice, Moratz said.
For more information on Yachting NZ’s coaching resources, click here.
For more on our learn to sail programme, click here.