Development within sailing to ensure a sustainable future for the sport has been a major talking point at the 2016 Annual Conference. Personnel, resources and commitment differ from nation to nation but within each MNA there is a driving force, pushing the sport forward.
Helio Da Rosa, Secretary General of the Mozambique Sailing Federation, has been the spark to promote sailing within Mozambique, revolutionising and inspiring his countrymen and women and those in neighbouring nations to take up the sport.
For his commitment to grow the sport within Mozambique and in Africa, da Rosa has tonight been awarded the World Sailing President’s Development Award at World Sailing’s Training and Development Gala Dinner at the Museu Marítim in Barcelona, Spain.
On receiving the award from World Sailing President Carlo Croce, da Rosa said, “First of all, I would like to say thank you to Rob Holden [World Sailing Regional Development Manager] who was the man who helped me a lot to get this award. It’s very special for my country, my continent because I know that I’m working hard but I’m not working alone. I’m working with Rob and I have a team inside of Mozambique working with me. This award is going to all of them, it’s not going to Helio da Rosa because Helio da Rosa is nothing without those people. This represents the hard work we have been doing from the beginning until now.
“We will continue to work. We have a lot to do. It’s not just, win an award and stop. We want more so let’s see what happens from here. We will work hard to get to the top.”
Secretary General of the Mozambique MNA since 2009, da Rosa has played a central role in developing and growing sailing within the nation.
When da Rosa became Secretary General, there was no relationship between the sailing federation and the Mozambican National Olympic Committee. Through great patience, da Rosa waited for the President of the NOC to arrive at their offices before subsequently introducing and presenting the sport of sailing. This commitment formed the basis of a strong working relationship with the NOC that has culminated in strong support and commitment.
Da Rosa’s sailing experience in advance of joining the MNA was limited and he had no coaching experience at all. In 2012, da Rosa participated in the World Sailing Training Scholarship Course to better develop his skillset and since then he has matured into an excellent coach, leader and coach developer to further enhance the MNA.
During da Rosa’s tenure, four Technical Courses for Coaches for national and African delegates have been held alongside a regional Race Official seminar that has created opportunities for coaches to pass on knowledge to not only sailors, but new coaches.
As a direct result of this, hundreds of children have experienced sailing, realising the potential of the sport and changing their lives for the better forever. New opportunities have come their way and youngsters regularly sail overseas, excelling beyond belief thanks to work and framework put in place by da Rosa.
Astute financial management and organisation has seen the MNA grow from strength to strength. Da Rosa continues to develop himself, the Mozambique MNA and continues to pursue new opportunities for children whilst playing a key role in Africa by developing sailors on the continent.
By Daniel Smith – World Sailing