Saudi Arabia hosts the first World Rowing Coastal Level 1 Regional Coaches Course in Asia

Today, the first World Rowing Coastal Level 1 Coaches Course in Asia concluded in the beautiful city of Al Jubail. 13 participants from 6 Gulf and Arab countries came together under one roof to upskill their knowledge and learn more about the coastal rowing discipline.

Along with host Saudi Rowing Federation, the participants came from the Member Federations in Bahrain, Iraq, Kuwait, Oman and UAE. It is worth mentioning that this is the first activity where we have participation from Oman Maritime Sports Committee as a new member who joined the membership of World Rowing only last September 2023 as the governing body in Oman to promote and organise rowing activities in Oman. The participation in this course is the first step to equip OMSC with the knowledge to start promoting rowing, especially the coastal disciplines, in Oman.

The course was delivered by World Rowing Development Coach Educators Chris Perry and Emma Benany in a bilingual setting alternating between the English and Arabic languages for the maximum benefit of the participating coaches; and emphasising diversity and inclusion, which is an element that is always integrated within all World Rowing Development activities.

The course covered the basics of rowing and coaching, rowing techniques and skills build up, with special focus on coastal rowing, how to set up the beach venue and run a coastal competition, especially the beach sprint discipline, as well as the establishment of fair and systematic selection criteria. Coastal Rowing is gaining more appeal and there is a need to promote and develop the discipline in Asia following up on the International Olympic Committee’s announcement on 16 October during its session held in Mumbai, India that Beach Sprint Rowing, a format of the Coastal Rowing discipline, will be included in the Los Angeles 2028 Olympic Games programme, alongside Classic Rowing. For the first time, Rowing will be featured in two different disciplines, both set to be showcased at the heart of the Olympic Games.

Thinking safety and as a water sport, rowing always places the safety of its participants first, thus a swim test and capsize and man overboard drills were performed in a closed Olympic swimming pool before any on water practical sessions took place to ensure that participant coaches can swim and remain afloat for their safety.

A session on anti-doping was delivered by the Saudi Arabian Anti-Doping Committee (SAADC). Two representatives from SAADC came from Riyadh to educate coaches on anti-doping and the applicable procedures to ensure the integrity of sports and the protection of clean athletes.

Another session on safeguarding and safe sport was also delivered where participating coaches were introduced to their role and responsibilities as members of the athletes’ entourage to ensure that the athletes thrive in safe sporting environments free from non-accidental violence, harassment and abuse.

The theoretical sessions were hosted by Jubail Marine Sports Club at fully equipped meeting rooms and state of the art facilities. Rowing equipment was made available by the Saudi Rowing Federation, who provided all logistical support for the smooth running of the course and training and in a very warm and welcoming environment reflecting the hospitality and generosity of Saudi people and the Arab culture.

The regional course is funded through Olympic Solidarity and the valuable support of the Saudi Olympic and Paralympic Committee.

The weather conditions were fairly good, and the course participants will stay on to support the Saudi Rowing Federation deliver the first Coastal Rowing National Championships in KSA which will be organised in the solo category on 3rd and 4th November.  

Rowing in KSA has been cultivated and developed by the Saudi Rowing Federation and its leadership in a sustainable and systematic way over the past couple years, and we look forward to coming back to Saudi Arabia for more rowing events and development activities serving the region and the Asian continent and wish them success in the delivery of their first beach sprints event.