As I keep it up with interviewing women athletes and mostly in the surf and sailing area for this summer session I discusses sport with two young Omani women sailors. As part of team Oman Sail women’s programme that encourages empowerment and development initiatives in Oman, they talk about training with British Olympic achiever Mary Rook and what motivates them in pursuing such an ambitious racing project as they had no previous experience of sailing before joining the program. Led by David Graham, Oman Sail CEO, and established in 2008, Oman Sail is a genuine concept that benefits the ones that have the desire to discover sailing based on the nation’s historic legacy in the maritime field. More than 70 000 children will benefit from the programme by 2020. Ibtisam Al Salmi and Nashwa Al Kindi participates in international races and learn valuable and forward thinking teachings that for sure will have an impact on their future carreers, management strategy … even on a more personnal basis. They deserve a share of voice ! Meet Ibtisam Al Salmi and Nashwa Al Kindi !
Business Madame : Why and how did you come to join the Oman Sail team?
Nashwa Al Kindi : I joined the Oman Sail team because I like the sea! I came across the official advertisement on Facebook and I knew that it would be the perfect job for me.
Ibtisam Al Salmi : I was studying at the Oman Tourism College before joining the programme, and as part of my studies, I had the opportunity to volunteer in some events organised by the project. From that moment, I loved sailing ever since! After I finished my studies, I joined the Women’s Programme to become a sailing instructor.
“In my point of view, the tactician plays a big role in influencing the team’s strategy. My estimate is that the effect is around 60%, if not more, out of the decision-making on-board a boat”. Nashwa Al Kindi
BM : What is your background, where did you grow up and for which job did you study and qualify for?
NAK : I am Omani and I grew up in Muscat and always loved outdoor sports. I’m self-motivated who always loves to take challenges. After completing school, I worked in many posts. One of them was as a Customer Service Advisor.
IAS : I grew up with my family who had no background about sailing at all. I studied in a college and qualified to become a tour guide.
BM : What is the role of the tactician and how does it influences the general strategy of the team?
NAK : In my point of view, the tactician plays a big role in influencing the team’s strategy. My estimate is that the effect is around 60%, if not more, out of the decision-making on-board a boat.
IAS : The role of the tactician is highly important in each sport and you lose or win because of it. The tactician normally gives you the options to get to your next point faster and safely.
BM : Which core values do you feel are the most important in this sport and how does it fit with your own background and philosophy of life?
NAK : It is challenging and I love challenges!
IAS : To be fit is very important in sailing, as well as working under pressure, knowledge, team work and, of course, patience.
BM : Although it is a different race, there is a 100% female team engaging in the next Volvo Ocean Race. How do you view your own participation as a female team as well? Do you feel that much difference?
NAK : In terms of sailing, I do not think it does, but I do think that women need to work harder physically and keep fit!
IAS : When I first start sailing I did not know anything about sailing, but with training, practice and the right coaching I can feel myself improving. I joined the Women’s Race team to represent my country Oman internationally, which is something that I feel very strongly proud about.
BM : What’s next after this challenge? Do you want to go back to a ‘normal life’ or do you feel that there are other challenges that you can embrace with sailing? If not how does this experience can be a relevant training for future business management or other professional activities?
NAK : In sailing, I am constantly learning whether it is a different boat or a different country that we are sailing in. I believe that these new experiences have allowed me to grow both as sailor and as a person. Sailing has taught me about teamwork, leadership and patience, which are all skills that would be useful to me in any other area of my life.
IAS : I wish to develop my professional sailing skills further. I am following the achievements of Team SCA which is participating in Volvo Ocean Race. I think they are amazing and I am a big fan of their team. What they are doing is completely incredible such as sailing around the entire world.
BM : Except for those who have travelled there, one might not have a clear view of Oman. Tell us about your life in Oman, opportunities and the cultural, economic and social dynamism of your country?
NAK : My life here is great we have one of the most beautiful coasts, incredible mountains and it is really one of the most beautiful natural destinations. We have a lot of attractions that I am sure tourists would enjoy like traditional bazars and ancient forts. What I like the most about Oman is that it is modern but we have still maintained our traditions and culture.
IAS : When we participate in international races where sailors gather from different cultures and backgrounds, we get to be asked about Oman as an unrivalled destination. Life in Oman combines simplicity and an outward vision everybody has towards development and progress. The people are very welcoming and are always curious to see what other tourists think of the natural scenery. Whenever I travel, I quickly think about the time I go back. It is a wonderful and blessed feeling.
“I wish to develop my professional sailing skills further. I am following the achievements of Team SCA which is participating in Volvo Ocean Race. I think they are amazing and I am a big fan of their team. What they are doing is completely incredible such as sailing around the entire world”. Ibtisam Al Salmi
Next challenges for women of Oman Sail includes : Abu Dhabi Yachting Cup, organised by the Abu Dhabi Sailing & Yacht Club (23rd – 25th October 2014) // Muscat – Khasab Regatta 2014, organised in conjunction with the Ministry of Tourism and the Ministry of Sports Affairs (12th – 17thNovember 2014) // Bahrain Match Racing, organised by Bahrain Maritime Sports Association (16th – 20th December 2014)