Sailing festival Sunday encourages Seychellois women into water sports
Lucy Athanasius, one of the Seychellois women sailors, has been sailing since 1978. (Seychelles Nation)
(Seychelles News Agency) - Seychelles will organise a women's sailing festival for the first time to encourage women and girls to take up water sports.
The event is part of World Sailing's global festival called "Steering the Course." In Seychelles it will take place Sunday starting at 10 am until 4 pm at the Sail Training Scheme in the central district of Roche Caiman. The event is free.
The secretary of the Seychelles Yacht Association, Betty Alcindor, told SNA on Thursday "in Seychelles, I cannot really tell if there is interest from women to take up sailing. What we want to do is to create awareness and let women and girls know that they can do it and that will not only be for sailing but other sports as well."
The event in Seychelles, an archipelago in the western Indian, will introduce women and girls to sailing as well as canoeing and windsurfing.
There are currently many women competing in the regular sailing season in Seychelles. In the Olympic Games in Sydney Australia in 2000, Seychelles had a participant, Endra Ha-Tiff, in the women's Mistral competition.
Alcindor said that "with the concerns posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, we have not been able to advertise this event on a large scale, but we are hoping that through word of mouth we can have a good number of women and girls who come to the event on Sunday."
Supported by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) development fund, Steering the Course aims to introduce women and girls across the globe to the sport of sailing, as well as encourage alternative pathways for those already within the sport, such as coaching or officiating.
Held over a 10-day period across two separate events - one in the Northern Hemisphere and the other in the Southern Hemisphere - the festival will bring together sailing communities from all backgrounds, with events taking place in multiple countries at the same time.
The event has already taken place in countries that lie in the northern hemisphere and countries in the southern hemisphere had between October 1-10 to organise their activities.
The Northern Hemisphere edition saw over 20 countries take part in activities over a ten-day period, including increased uptake in applications for national events and sailing lessons long after the festival came to a close.