Sailing Sponsorship of Oman Sail is more than Just Marketing.
There is a definition of sponsorship that is less about business and promotion and more about long term investment. Sponsorship can mean: “One who assumes responsibility for another person or a group during a period of instruction, apprenticeship, or probation.” Of course the the multiple definitions of sponsorship need not be mutually exclusive. Long term investment can lead to long term brand building results.
The Oman Sail project has long term goals that are about nation building and campaigns partners also have similar goals. The Oman Sailing School at Marina Bandar Al Rowdha has been operational for over a year and has trained over 1,500 Omanis already as part of Oman Sail’s five year plan to teach 30,000 young Omanis to sail by 2015.
Over 75 students from Al Bustan School recently attended the BAE Systems sponsored ‘Try Sailing’ days held from 1-3 December. The young sailors proudly waved the Omani flags while sailing as part of their tribute to the nation on the occasion of the 40th National Day.
Earlier this year BAE Systems announced its partnership with Oman Sail to encompass a wide range of activities, including sponsorship of the grassroots development of the Oman Sailing School with apprenticeship programmes and sponsorship of a schools and education programme consisting of “Try Sailing” days for schools and young Omanis. BAE Systems also has its branding on Masirah, the Extreme 40 boat entered in the Extreme Sailing Series.
Andy Carr, managing director of BAE Systems Oman, said:
“Our partnership with Oman Sail demonstrates our long-term commitment to education and skills development within the Omani community. We are delighted to be a part of the ‘Try Sailing’ programme which gives students the opportunity to learn about the Sultanate’s maritime heritage as well as help build their team-work and decision-making skills.”
Ali Ambusaidi, chief sailing instructor at Oman Sail, said:
“BAE Systems has been the backbone of the programme. It is with such support that we are able to continue working collaboratively in teaching the children our great sport that not only benefits them physically, but also develops their personality traits and confidence levels. This year will witness a great development for the Oman Sailing School as we are in the process of opening up two more schools in Oman, enabling us to reach out to more Omanis and teach them how to sail.
“Sailing is a sport of discipline and needs a lot of focus but at the same time, it is great fun for the children. The wind conditions today were great and to see all the joy and smiles on the faces of the kids during the celebration of our national day makes it picture perfect.”
Among the young sailors, 16 year old Sara Al Wahaibi also shared her enthusiasm and joy in sailing.
“Sailing is indeed one of the coolest things I have ever tried. I learned so much about new techniques in how to balance the boat with my teammate and how to trim the sails to make the best out of the wind. The coaches also talked to us about the marine life of our country and how our forefathers were so passionate about sailing. It makes me so proud to learn a sport that is associated with our culture and also gives me a chance to spend time in my favourite place; the sea!”
With the support and guidance of the Ministry of Tourism, Oman Sail was set up in 2008 to rekindle Oman’s maritime history and to inspire a new generation of young Omanis to take up sailing as recreation and as a competitive sport.
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