As published in Yachting Life May issue 2014Quite often the staff at Cumbrae are asked what is a National Centre? It is a good question to raise and it should be answered as it is a real asset to have a sportscotland National Centre dedicated to watersports.
The Centre has a vision to provide Scotland with a World Class Centre which provides excellent learning opportunities for all. This is across a range of disciplines and a range of levels. There are many activities centres in the UK and many holiday destinations giving enjoyable and progressive sailing, kayaking and windsurfing opportunities. What we believe is different about Cumbrae is the quality of instruction, the structure to the learning and the range of courses available writes Jo Turner.
The beginner level courses are more readily available elsewhere and that is where the status of the National Centre comes into force. It is this status that ensures the opportunity for people within and outside of Scotland to have access to the Coaching and Instructors Training Programme, expert level qualifications that meet the requirements in both leisure and commercial sectors.
David Frame, Chief Instructor, says Cumbrae delivers quality Instructor courses ensuring consistent standards and good teaching throughout the country. He is proud of this and recognises the value this adds to both commercial and voluntary sectors and the learning experience of anyone under the tuition of an instructor trained at the national centre.
Focussing on this role of the Centre in 2014 we have already hosted a number of high end courses including; the Yachtmaster Training and Assessment; Yachtmaster Update; Advanced Powerboat Instructor; Intermediate Windsurfing Instructor; Radar Instructor; Diesel Engine Instructor and Cruising Instructor. The pass rate has been exceptional and it is wonderful to support the development of competent people further. Some of these course will be delivered again this year, other will not unless of course by demand where there are 3 or more interested persons.The option to complete instructor qualifications via our Fastrack method is available again this year. These courses range from 18 – 25 days and are available in Fastrack dinghy Instructor, Fastrack Windsurfing Instructor and fastrack Powerboating Instructor. The content is excellent and plenty time afloat is included. The candidates will gain a number of RYA qualifications during this course and the knowledge, understanding and skills will improve dramatically. This approach is popular for those with an extended period of leave or those looking to gain the qualification for imminent application. Living in a residential centre throughout these courses gives the Instructor to be an insight to the roles of fulltime instructors and the outdoor industry.
The season will continue to progress with Dinghy, Advanced Dinghy, Start Windsurfing and Powerboat instructor courses. The instructors at Cumbrae will also evaluate their own performance and continue to raise their own abilities in order to maintain the highest standards are guaranteed at sportscotland National Centre Cumbrae.
A National Centre is not only about ensuring quality at the Instructional level. Delivering these courses requires our Instructors to be of the highest ability and then this calibre of Instructor is available to all. As a learner, or at any level, the experience you will have is influenced greatly by the person guiding you. This is a major element of the instructors job and that is why we invest in developing the best. The message is that no matter what course, tailored activity, muster, school trip or camp you come onto the Centre you will be taught by the best of the best. Sportscotland makes this commitment as positive participation is far more likely to lead to long term involvement enhancing healthy lifestyle choices.
The Centre is here to support a wide range of people in their journey to become more accomplished. The centre does not deliver high volume, cheap and cheerful versions of water sports but it does what it says on the tin and will give a great all round experience leading to certificates and qualifications giving people the chance to be involved in their chosen activity for life.