Summary of Maelstorm Sponsored 2013 KTA Kite Kids
Part of the corner stone of the Asia tour scene for the KTA has always been the development of rider skills, those important grassroots components that sit behind any future competition event and champion rider. This philosophy has led the KTA to introduce a number different coaching and training opportunities such as the pre-event pro-rider led clinics for competitors, freestyle and race coaching weekends, the KTA Race Centre Project and the successful partnership with KB4Girls to inspire more women to compete. This season the KTA have taken things a step further and with the support of Maelstorm are focusing on the real grassroots of any sport, the kids.
To do this the KTA teamed up with one of its most successful Champions Kathrin Borgwardt who holds four KTA titles and is the current undefeated women’s KTA Tour Course Racing Champion. Together with Kathrin and Maelstorm the KTA has been running KTA Kite Kids classes for the local kids for two days before each round of the Asian tour, giving them the chance to take the first steps towards becoming future kiteboarding champions.
KTA Kite Kids classes introduce the local children to kiteboarding by teaching them the fundamental skills through power kite flying, while at the same time getting them to understand the importance of safety when they are having fun. Each of the four sessions that take place over the two days of the KTA Kite Kids runs with a max of 12 kids working in pairs each with a trainer kite under the supervision of Kathrin and her support team. A coaching team made up of local instructors along with extra helping hands from the KTA riders, to make sure the kids get the max out of their session.
So far this season the KTA Asia tour has visited Indonesia, Thailand and the Philippines and successfully completed a KTA Kite Kids for each location.
The Indonesia Kite Kids took place on the island of Bintan and saw 32 local school children taking part in the power kite training courses, each in turn coming to grips with the skills needed to keep their kite out of the water and in the air. Regular Kite Kids sessions have since been continued as the KTA to leaves behind the trainer kites with the local school for exactly this purpose. The concept being that the kiting continues after the KTA has left building on the foundation kite skills hopefully right through to getting them eventual out onto the water and kiteboarding.
For the KTA Kite Kids Thailand the classes saw a different recruitment, not just the local school this time by also the kids from the local fishing villages, many of who don’t get a chance to make it to mainstream school. These were the kids of the fishermen helping the main KTA event with their fishing boats acting as mark laying and start boats, giving the KTA Thailand a truly family affair. 26 kids attended the classes over the two days in Pranburi, this season’s location for the event.
The Philippines KTA Kite Kids in Boracay gave Kathrin and her team a very busy start to the week with a full 48 kids taking part in the programme. It was perfect to see the buzz and the excitement as each kid in turn got to grips with the skills of power kiting as the instructors demonstrated, coached and corrected their way through each session. It was truly international affair with kids from around the globe and the local island kids reflecting the multi-racial mix that exists on Boracay, great to see and best part of what sport is all about.
The KTA Philippines also became the first Asian tour event to hold a Kite Kids TT Race which happened over the final two days of the competition in combination with the Weekend Warrior racers. The 11 kids taking part aged between 10 -12 years old raced in four races over the two days on the full course being raced by all the classes, so big thumbs up to all the kids that took part and a special congrats to the top guys that hit the podium on the awards night and showed the potential outcome for the KTA Kite Kids supported by Maelstorm!
- Maelstorm Limited