Sail Training International today announces a unique new trophy and annual bursary scheme funded by the Sultanate of Oman.
The bursary scheme will see a €50,000 invested every year to assist young people from around the world to benefit from the life-changing experience gained from participation in the races and regattas organised by Sail Training International. The scheme will help to fund 100 young people every year, with a particular focus on the disadvantaged and disabled.
As part of this collaboration with Sail Training International, the Sultanate of Oman has donated a new prestige trophy to be awarded for the first time this year at the International Sail Training and Tall Ships Conference 2011, Sail Training International’s annual conference. The Sultan Qaboos Sailing Trophy will be presented to an individual, vessel operator, or sail training organisation for ‘outstanding services to sail training for young people’.
The bursary scheme is being piloted this year with 25 young trainees selected by the national sail training organisations of Belgium, France, Finland, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, and Portugal. They will all participate in the final leg of The Tall Ships Races 2011 from Stavanger (Norway) to Halmstad (Sweden), starting 31 July.
Shabab Oman, the sail training Tall Ship operated by the Royal Navy of Oman, has participated in races and regattas organised by Sail Training International (and its forerunner International Sail Training Association) since 1989. The ship and her crew have won the International Friendship Trophy, presented by Sail Training International, on eight occasions (a trophy awarded by secret ballot of all the Captains in the Tall Ships fleet to the vessel that has done most during a race series to promote international friendship and understanding).
“We are delighted to have the opportunity to help young people of many nations who may not otherwise have the opportunity to participate in the potentially life-changing experience of a Tall Ships race,” says Commodore Yaqoob bin Yousuf Al Kamashki of the Royal Navy of Oman. “The bursary scheme and the trophy complement Oman’s long-standing association with events organised by Sail Training International and our commitment to youth development. The name of our own ship, Shabab Oman, means ‘Youth of Oman’.”
Charlotte Emilie Olaussen, a 17 year old student from Stavanger, Norway, is one of the lucky trainees selected for the pilot scheme and will be racing to Halmstad on Norwegian vessel, Prolific. She comments: “I’m extremely excited about the adventure ahead and didn’t ever imagine that I would be sailing to Sweden this summer which will be my first time at sea. It’s been fantastic meeting my fellow trainees from many different countries and I feel proud to welcome them to Stavanger. On behalf of all of us selected for the pilot scheme, we would like to thank the Sultanate of Oman, our national sail training organisations for choosing us, and Sail Training International for making this happen. Maybe we will even sail to Oman one day!”
“This generous donation from the Sultanate of Oman represents a significant contribution to our work with the international sail training community to support youth development,” says Nigel Rowe, President and Chairman of Sail Training International. “We hope it will inspire others to help fund the participation of young people in the sail training experience, especially those who might otherwise not have the opportunity and resources to do so.”
The Sultanate of Oman Bursary Scheme is open to any young person regardless of background, physical ability or sailing experience. More information will be avaialble soon from national sail training organisations and via www.sailtraininginternational.org.