First group complete Oman Sail initiative aimed at empowering women

Sport360 staff 15:29 22/09/2015
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The women participate in the programme.

Occidental of Oman, Inc (Oxy Oman) and Oman Sail have completed the first phase of its vision to empower the sporting ambitions of women in Oman, successfully training six Omani women to become certified sailing instructors.

The women’s programme will now move to the second phase of the programme which hopes to train 40 girls from government schools across Muscat, Sur and Mussanah.

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“The programme we developed with Oxy Oman was designed with two clear goals, firstly the training of women and then using them to inspire and mentor a new generation of female sailors to realise their potential,” said David Graham, Chief Executive Officer of Oman Sail.

“We anticipate our partnership will pave the way for other women to engage in sports, and by doing so expand their horizons and open the doors to greater and more varied career opportunities.”

Hussam Al Nabhani, vice president of corporate and external affairs at Oxy Oman added: “As a responsible corporate citizen, we aim to leave a lasting legacy by contributing to establishing platforms on which communities can mutually benefit, develop and thrive.

“We carefully choose our partners to support local communities, and create innovative partnerships through which we can accomplish our objectives. Working with Oman Sail to realise the dreams of women across the Sultanate will help develop a passion for sport and shape role models for Omani girls to emulate.”

The six recruits were selected after demonstrating both their ambition to learn the craft and their physical capabilities.

They have completed a series of training sessions to develop essential skill sets including technical knowledge, leadership and coaching capabilities, while gaining international experience by racing among accomplished sailors, most recently during Cowes Week and Normandy Week.

The trainees were also chosen to participate in Oman Sail’s EFG Sailing Arabia – The Tour 2015, the regional sailing regatta aiming to reignite the Gulf’s maritime heritage.

Inductee Marwa Al Khaifi, said: “Not only did our training encompass theory and practice but we got the chance to work with people who supported both our personal and professional development.

“In addition to our trainers, we were inspired by Mohsin Al Balushi, the first Arab to sail around the world, who encouraged us to dream big, and we met double Olympic Gold Medallist, Sarah Ayton, who shared her experiences sailing as a woman.

"The programme was more than just training us to get certified, it started to mould us into the women we hope to one day become.” 

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