Funding from Olympic Solidarity has helped triathlon to reach a new corner of the world, with 25 participants taking part in the first ITU Level 1 Club Coaching Course in Iraq this week.
Olympic Solidarity’s aim is to organise assistance for all the National Olympic Committees (NOCs), particularly those with the greatest needs, so that they can develop their own structures to favour the expansion of sport in their country. The course was supported and presented by ITU, including respected facilitators Franz Studer (SUI) and Mohamed Fakhry (EGY).
The course was officially opened by the President of the Kurdistan Nation National Olympic Committee, Mr. Salah Hassan Khisro, while Iraq Triathlon Federation President Mr. Kamal Mohammed Qader and the Secretary General of the NF, Dr. Ameer Abdullah Hasan, also attended.
Studer said the participants were willing learners, and thanked the Iraq Triathlon Federation for its support.
“This is one of the best courses I have been honoured to be part of and the level of the candidates bodes really well for the sport in Iraq,” he said. “We have been welcomed with open arms and the support from the Iraq Triathlon Federation has been amazing.”
The course was held in the Hotel Geneva in Erbil, Iraq, from April 22 to 29, and 14 women and 11 men participated. It’s the first time an ITU development coaching course has had more female participants than male.
All manuals and resources were translated in Arabic as participants learned about triathlon history, basic physiology, coaching and communication techniques, nutrition, sports psychology, training program planning, coaching ethics, swimming, transition, cycling and running theory all with practical application sessions to create an active learning environment. The course is designed to help participants learn new information and the techniques to teach triathlon sport information to others, with a heavy emphasis on learning retention.
The course was a success and signifies just the start of developing the sport in Iraq. ITU Development, along with Olympic Solidarity, strives to develop the sport globally and this course in Erbil, Iraq has been one of the most exciting projects to see it become a reality, especially the potential for growth of triathlon in Iraq. The Iraq Triathlon Federation should be commended on handpicking the candidates to attend the course and ensuring this eight-day course is a resounding success.
ITU Executive board member Ahmed Nasser is currently attending the course in Erbil, Iraq and will be joined by ITU President Marisol Casado on 28 April to attend the closing function and present the attendees with Olympic solidarity certificates of participation.