Korea host to the Development Programme in Asia

Para Rowing has gained significant prominence in recent years, with athletes showcasing remarkable achievements on the global stage. Developing athletes towards Paralympic success involves creating support systems at national, regional and continental level to enhance development, with support of well prepared coaches and classifiers. Over recent years, the World Rowing Development team developed a framework to equip coaches with the required knowledge to perform in a safe and equitable manner when planning, delivering and evaluating rowing training sessions. A well trained team of coach educators ensures the consistency needed to run coach education around the world. In order to roll out coaching education in Asia and meet the various languages and cultural diversities of the Continent, a “train the trainer” coach educators’ course was organised and delivered with the support of the Korean Para Rowing Association for the first time in Asia on the sidelines of the Asian and Oceanian Olympic and Paralympic Qualification Regatta (AOOPQR). The course is aimed to cascade the World Rowing Level 1 Para Rowing Development Coaching Course in Asia, in different languages adapted to the needs of the region.

Attaining the level of a World Rowing Coach Educator involves various phases. An introductory webinar was organised to introduce the scheme of work and the scope of the course, where participants were granted access to four online courses on the World Rowing Academy – Education as a pre-requisite before the in-person training in Chungju, Korea.

The in person “train the trainers” started on 12 April 2024 with three intensive and focused training days for participating coach educators’ trainees, where the World Rowing Level 1 Para Rowing Development Coaching Course, covering face to face learning around safety, coaching communication and skills, planning, technique and rigging, aiming at covering the basics to enable safe coaching practice for athletes with a disability. 

The in-person training was split between theoretical in class sessions and practical in-venue sessions with 10 coach educator trainees from six Asian countries (KOR, KSA, IND, MAS, KAZ, and THA) .The course was led by Chris Perry and Ella Willott, who were also supported by World Rowing Continental Representative for Asia Kim Fay Ho.

The specific Para Rowing Modules  focused on presenting an overview of Para Rowing history, terminology, and global significance, to help the learners understand the earliest records of when the sport of rowing was used to engage individuals with a disability; people first language, practical steps for setting up and managing a Para Rowing programme; capsize and recovery drills specific to Para Rowing; understanding the unique aspects of coaching athletes with disabilities, educating coaches about the classification system and its impact on athlete eligibility and competition, and promoting inclusive coaching methods that cater to diverse abilities and needs, among others.

To see the coach trainees in action and to further support the development of rowing in Asia, an international development training camp for Olympic and Paralympic athletes was also organised in Chungju from 14 till 18 April 2024.

The training camps saw the participation of 30 athletes, both Olympic and Paralympic, together with their coaches. The teams represented 12 countries from Asia (IND, IRQ, KAZ, KOR, KSA, KUW, MAS, PHI, PLE, SRI, UAE, VIE).

The joint Olympic and Paralympic training camp served as a preparation phase for athletes, helping them to acclimatise and prepare for their participation in the AOOPQR scheduled to take place from 19-21 April 2024.

The camp is organised through the World Rowing Development Programme, with the support of the Korean Para Rowing Association (KPRA) and the Korean Rowing Association (KRA), host to the AOOPQR. The programme offered camp participants with the logistical and technical support to enable their participation in the education/training activities and in the AOOPQR. Training took place at the state-of-the-art rowing training facility in Tangeum Lake International Regatta Course.

The training camp not only elevates individual performance, but also fosters cross-cultural understanding. Athletes and coaches share insights, creating a vibrant community committed to excellence and developing rowing in the Asian Continent by empowering coaches and athletes to develop their full potential.

The Asian and Oceanian Olympic and Paralympic Qualification Regatta runs from 19 April and sees 20 nations from Asia competing for a quota place in the Paris 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games. 

We wish all the athletes may perform at their best and reach their dream.

More information on the AOOPQR and Races Results can be found on the link: 2024 World Rowing Asian and Oceanian Olympic and Paralympic Qualification Regatta – World Rowing

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