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Nurturing your talented offspring!

So your youngster has a talent for windsurfing! As a parent what is it like to watch from the sidelines as your child unleashes their talent! In this blog I chat to The Official Test Centre Team Rider, Scott Norman's dad all about the support needed to sail into the big league, turning a hobby into competing on a national level. A fascinating insight from John Norman's point of view of how proud as parents him and Scot's mum are of their offspring. Scott Norman aged 16 is an OTC Team Rider, a dream that has become a reality as a reflection of the commitment and dedication and training hours that Scott has devoted to his windsurfing. Natural born talent nurtured and allowed to flourish organically with the unconditional love of supportive parents. Scott's rise to the top is a combination of talent, commitment and the behind the scenes support of devoted parents.


By Emma Nicholson.

I started off asking John, how did it all start for Scott? How did you first introduce him to windsurfing and how old was he?

John said: "I would like to think we are a pretty active family so he has been brought up doing things like climbing, surfing, Taekwondo (he’s a 3rd Dan black belt but never tells anyone) kayaking and wild camping. Being physically active is really important for not only physical health but those other areas of health such as mental and emotional. The wonderful Will Mackaness Trust gave him his first opportunity at windsurfing at the OTC when he was 11 which fed into Team 15 and he was hooked. I worked as a windsurfing instructor when I was younger so its been great to see him following on and developing such a passion."


"The wonderful Will Mackaness Trust gave him his first opportunity at windsurfing at the OTC."

When did he go from windsurfing as a hobby to competing on a National level?

John said: "Within 12 months of stepping on a board he had already said 'I want to do slalom'. The OTC is such an inspiring place, all the team are genuinely stoked to see the riders develop and always have time to offer advice or even just ask him how he's getting on. During his first season racing slalom he was competing in the Master Blaster fleet and convinced us he was committed to slalom. We sat down with Tris and he was amazing at sorting out all the kit he needed. Tris deserves a special mention, his support and vision for Scott and all the young people that pass through the OTC is nothing short of inspiring. There are a few times in life when you meet remarkable people and Tris is one of those. Scott became a team rider with the OTC during his first year in what is now called the National slalom fleet which has provided him with an amazing family of like minded people."


"The OTC is such an inspiring place."

The cost and the time you have had to invest when he was younger, what advice would you give to other parents about to set out on the same journey?

John said: "We are very lucky to be in a position where we are able to support Scott, again with the help from The OTC and Tris has been amazing and we are really grateful to them for it. I think it is a really great way of managing the cost is using places like The OTC. You can do a course to learn the basics then hire kit and go out and have fun. As you get better you can just change the kit to suit. Then when you are ready to buy kit you have a better idea of what you want. it also means you can buy a bit at a time and just hire the bits you don't have.


"In terms of the time commitment The OTC and Weymouth & Portland National Sailing Academy (WPNSA) is such a positive environment for young people in particular, it's an easy decision when he wants to go over there. I have never been to a location where you can have a beginner taking their first steps in their windsurfing journey and there’s an Olympic medalist like Emma Wilson rigging up next you smiling and saying 'Hi'. How motivating and inspiring for young people to be active."


"I have never been to a location where you can have a beginner taking their first steps in their windsurfing journey and there’s an Olympic medalist like Emma Wilson rigging up next you."

What has been your proudest moment from Scotts amazing achievements?

John said: "That’s a difficult one. From a competitive point of view winning the Master Blaster in his first year and the Amateur Foiling national title in his second year is wonderful. Seeing him grow into the young man he has become is a proud moment for Claire and I. We recently had a message from the parent of a child he helped when they were windsurfing at the OTC saying how kind he was with them, that got him a big hug from his Mum. Sometimes its moments when they show kindness to others that make you the proudest."


"Sometimes its moments when they show kindness to others that make you the proudest."

What do you think windsurfing has given Scott?

John said: "As much as anything windsurfing has given Scott an identity and a family. To be a team rider for The OTC is a massive honour for Scott and he has joined a fantastically talented group of people. As I said earlier it has such a positive influence on every aspect of their health, Scotts just finished his GCSEs and being able to step away from revision and blast around the harbour on his slalom gear clears his head and de-stresses him. So many of the things he has learnt through windsurfing and the OTC are transferable to everyday life and certainly play a part in him becoming the young man he has become."


"So many of the things he has learnt through windsurfing and the OTC are transferable to everyday life."

If you fancy learning or progressing your windsurfing skills, click on the link...https://otc.sailia.co.uk/booking_v2/main/?t=113 and who knows where your windsurfing will take you?

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