Happy Senior Instructors

Learning to be a Senior Instructor


Learning to be a Senior Instructor in Baltimore

September 2017

A team of fourteen instructors joined a five day Irish Sailing Senior Instructor course in Baltimore Sailing Club earlier this month. The combination of professional trainers Shane McElligot and Victor Fusco, the incredible facilities of Baltimore’s club house, and beautiful waters of West Cork, made it the perfect venue for a dynamic and insightful course.

The group experienced of dinghy, windsurfing and powerboating instructors came from a wide variety of instructing backgrounds. The sharing and collaboration of ideas from different watersports is vital in the development of the management skills needed and during the five days of coaching they covered a wide range of scenario management situations including planning, forecasting, communications skills and risk assessment amongst others.

Irish Sailing’s RDO Gail MacAllister caught up with Anna O’Regan from Schull and Triona Harvey of Wexford to find out what inspired them to train for Senior Instructor.

Triona started sailing at fifteen and sails out of Wexford Harbour Boat and Tennis Club. Instead of joining the ten year old beginners, she jumped in the deep end and joined the other teenagers in the Improving Skills group. “It wasn’t easy, but I practiced a lot and it was better socially than being with a young group. I then joined the weekly winter sailing in the club and did a few Topper events to build up my skills. As a trainee I saw the instructors have a pretty nice job, spending the summer on the water instead of picking strawberries with the other Wexford teenagers.”

Being from the West Cork village of Schull Anna started sailing Optimists at eight years old and joined courses at the Fastnet Outdoor and Marine Centre. Anna joined the 420 circuit and won the ‘First Ladies’ award in the nationals in only her second year of 420 sailing. She then took part in her school’s 4th year Pre Entry and Dinghy Instructor training which is part of the school’s curriculum. She says “I like working in the outdoors, like sailing and love teaching kids.” It’s interesting to point out that Anna has never owned a boat, she started young, worked her way up and now spends her summers teaching sailing in the beautiful waters of Schull.

Why do you want to develop your skills further as Senior Instructors ? Triona: ”I would like to have more of a managerial position, be responsible for a group of sailors and bring my ideas to the club.” Anna: “I have been a Dinghy Instructor for four years and I would like have my own chance to facilitate and encourage kids to do sailing and be more involved in the managing of the centre.”

What have they gained from this course? Triona, “A greater awareness of the preparation involved in being a good senior instructor.” Anna, “There are so many people from different backgrounds on this course I am learning new ideas that I can bring back to my own centre.”

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