Pan Am Games Sailing

With the 2015 Pan American Games in Toronto, it’s obvious that Canadian athletes have been training harder than ever. It isn’t just about getting to the podium, although that is every athletes goal, it’s about making their home country proud. Sometimes it’s not training harder than ever that puts you on the podium, however, it’s training in a way you’ve never done before that puts you over the top.

Ontario Sailing Coach Thomas Fogh has spent the last two years with Pan Am eligible sailors from Ontario, attempting to bring their skills to an even higher level. It isn’t just about getting great results; it’s about reminding the athletes to enjoy the sport.

“I’m passing on knowledge,” Thomas said. “I’m also helping people enjoy the sport by passing my passion for sailing onto them.”

The combination of knowledge and passion instilled on these athletes has paid dividends as Canada scored two silver medals and a bronze. With the medals and the Lightning and Snipe teams both finishing in fifth place, it is a great result for Canada as well as the Ontario sailors. It doesn’t stop there.

“This program was built as a legacy program,” Mr. Fogh said. “So that in four years from now the results will be even better.”

– Submitted to Ontario Sailing for Publication

Pan Am Recognition at PCYC

l-r Bronze Medalist Lee Parkhill, Sailor Alexandra Damley-Strnad and Coach Thomas Fogh are recognized and give encouragement to young sailors at the Steerers’ Regatta at PCYC.



Pan Am Games Observers Program

With the Pan Am Games in full swing, all of Ontario is getting a mere glimpse into just how big the event is and how much planning goes into running the event. Just look at the numbers: Over a million tickets sold, 41 countries involved, over 23,000 volunteers, 30 venues, and over 6000 athletes.

Julie, the Program Coordinator at Ontario Sailing, was invited to take part in the Pan Am Observers Program and get some insight into how to run a multisport games event. One of the goals of this program was to translate knowledge from running large multisport events to smaller single sport events.

“You look at these games,” Melanie said. “And you think there’s a lot that goes into it but when you break it down they are run just like our smaller events.”

Like sailing events, you have various groups coming together to put on an event and success relies on the coordination between all groups. Despite the scale of the Pan Am Games, everyone from the CEO right down to the volunteers is working together to accomplish a set of mission statements. It demonstrates the importance of collaboration to ensure success.

“The mission statements were consistent from top-to-bottom.” Ms. O’Brien said. “Everyone worked together to make sure that the impact on the community was positive.”

One of the more impressive aspects of the Pan Am Games is that since Toronto was awarded the games, they’ve put an emphasis on the legacy of these games. They don’t just want these games to be successful; they want the community in the GTA to benefit from having these games. Money has been set aside to maintain every venue and location for years afterwards.

“They had plans in place from the get-go,” Melanie said. “To setup and maintain a legacy not just next year but for the next 30 years.”

After a weeklong program, there’s plenty of knowledge that’s been imparted but the thing that will stick with Melanie is how important it is to work with the community.

“It’s all about having a positive impact on the community through sport and that comes by collaborating with that community.”

– Submitted to Ontario Sailing for Publication

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