Blanca Velasquez shares her experience in Malaysia
Monday, January 25th, 2016
From December 27th of 2015 to January 3rd of 2016, the International Sailing Federation Youth World Championship Regatta was held in Langkawi Malaysia. With 443 participants from 76 different countries in attendance, Belize was proudly represented by a two- member delegation that included 15-year-old Blanca Velasquez from San Pedro Ambergris Caye. Blanca had a remarkable performance participating among sailors from 54 other countries in the Laser Radial female’s division. She was happy to share with The San Pedro Sun how this experience has impacted her life.
According to Blanca, the Malaysia trip is one of the most wonderful experiences of her life. “Malaysia was a wonderful experience as I start a career in sailing. It’s great that I had the opportunity to attend this event, and now that I am back, I am more knowledgeable and can teach others about the sport,” said an excited Blanca. She is satisfied with her performance in the sporting event and thanked her coach for guiding her as she prepared for the challenge. She said that hard work and dedication certainly paid off.
According to Blanca, her life has been impacted by all the experiences in Malaysia, as she had the opportunity to learn a lot of new things. “There were a lot of different people from different countries, and I had the opportunity to learn about their cultures, religions, and the way they live. I can say that the people in Malaysia are different from Belize in ways they look at things, the country is more developed and their food is great as well. But apart from that, I learned to be more competitive and to always be a go-getter. This experience has motivated me to want more, and I believe that this sport has a future in Belize as it keeps you away from all the bad influences. It is a demanding activity; it increases the levels of your dedication and sportsmanship. We have the right waters to exercise this skill, and so I believe that yes, it can be done, and it is another way to put Belize on the map,” stated Blanca.
Blanca looks forward to participating in future similar events when it comes to sailing, and to represent the country in other parts of the world. Her experience in Malaysia was the start of an exciting sporting journey, where she hopes to meet more people, learn more about other cultures and other sailors and then return to Belize to share the knowledge, she added.
For anyone that wishes to learn about sailing and they don’t know how to go about doing so, she encourages them to visit their nearest sailing centre or even come all the way to San Pedro if they are on the mainland. “They should never give up. The sooner they start sailing the better; sailing is a wonderful and exciting sport to get involved in and actually is very affordable,” ended Blanca.
Velasquez plans to become more heavily involved in sailing in the future, and looks forward to representing Belize as an Olympic racer one day. Among other aspirations, is to become a coach, which she is certain can be possible with patience and a lot of dedication.
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