Last week marked the end of our very first Horizon Assistant Instructor Training course at Horizon, and it was a great success! Our three new assistants, aged 13 -15, all live in Nidri and have been coming to youth club regularly since we opened last year. We put this program together specifically for them so that they can get more involved in the youth club and enjoy helping out with some of the younger children that come along.
We had an action packed programme over the 10 days, which included completing their RYA adult levels in both sailing and windsurfing. The adult schemes include more in-depth theory knowledge than the youth schemes, so we enjoyed getting our heads around the physics behind how the sail works, meteorology and tides.
They got out on the water every day, improving their practical skills and learning the importance of breaking down the movements into accurate steps in order to teach someone. Although already good sailors, their personal sailing and windsurfing improved dramatically over the two weeks, and they're looking slick and confident in their boats and on their boards. Three very good watermen – ready to take the watersports industry by storm when they good older!
A definite highlight of the course was when they learned how to control and steer the boat without using the rudder, there was much excitement as they moved from one side to the other and watched it turn the way they wanted it to. At one point they were able to dispense with the rudder completely and, working as a team, sailed the boat confidently around the bay.
Alongside the dinghy sailing and windsurfing we also looked at SUP and kayak skills and games we can play to help us learn without thinking about learning – a great tool for teaching children! They put their newfound skills into practice in the second week as they assisted on youth club and helped Katie and Claire run a number of paddle games. They were also able to act as translators for some of the children who don't speak as much English – a fantastic help which made the club run even more smoothly.
As if getting their adult levels in sailing and windsurfing signed off, and completing assistant instructor training in sailing windsurfing, kayaking and SUPing wasn't enough in just 10 days, the boys also completed their RYA level one powerboat certificate. This is the first step to gaining their full powerboat licence. They really did work hard and we were so impressed by their commitment and enthusiasm – a great group of lads who made teaching fun!
We look forward to seeing them at the centre over the summer and hope they can enjoy their new knowledge and skills. Congratulations to Freddie, Valentino and Sonny on gaining so many new qualifications and thank you for being so enthusiastic throughout!