In an effort to continue the longstanding traditions of seafaring on the East Coast, Fujairah International Marine Club (FIMC) has developed a youth training program and center for motorsports, one that is totally unique to our region.
Under the stewardship of Major Ahmed Ibrahim Darak, managing director of FIMC, the program and the new purpose-built center it is taught in, will teach children under age 15 everything they need to know about handling motorized boats and the customs of seafaring.
The applicants will be instructed on a variety of related subjects such as safety, the environment, boat parts, engines and how to tie different kinds of boat knots.
At the time of writing, the Fujairah Marine Youth Training Center has received more than 20 applicants from children living in the region. Courses are set to last one month, with each session lasting two months and taking place 3 times a week.
Children are assessed multiple times before receiving certificates and moving to the next level. The first assessments taking place will be in basic rigid-inflatable boat driving for ages 8-15.
The center currently employs three instructors and four supervisors, with plans to expand. All children participating have to be carefully supervised at all times for safety reasons, as well as instructed to standards expected by the next generation of marine sports enthusiasts.
The principal aims of the program are establishing a solid educational foundation for boating and marine sports in general, as well as specialist training for Powerboating.
For many years, FIMC and Fujairah have been the host venue of the first round of the UIM XCAT World Series. The Youth Marine Center will allow young people in the region to develop their appreciation for such competitions. It sets to inspire the next generation of competitors.
One of the pillars the center has been founded on is equal opportunity; the UIM does not limit competition to just men, and as such the program and center are designed specifically to include boys and girls equally. The program is also open to all nationalities.
Last year, in Fujairah, Veronica Olderin (Swecat, Sweden) was the first woman to compete in the previously all male XCAT World series. Powerboating is not an all male sport, but it is vital to inspire young girls to participate as well as give them more opportunities to do so.
Major Ahmed Ibrahim also stated the importance of teaching respect for the marine environment to the next generation, and respect for safety guidelines. As important as it is to people doing any marine activity, it is vital to the creation of world-class marine sports competitors.
Another founding future objective of the center is giving clear progression pathways, and guidance to senior racing classes for children of all backgrounds. FIMC hope to continue adding activities and courses relating to other marine sports as interest and support increases from the community.
UIM recognized the need for better education in marine sports back in 2010, with emphasis on foundations. The Fujairah Marine Youth Training Center hopes to provide young mariners with the confidence, respect and knowledge they need to enjoy the thrilling world of marine sports.