Issue 99 - June 1997
Regional Coaching Development Officers
The most important development in the Amateur Rowing Association's services to its clubs for years is personified by the six regional coaching development officers now in place. They met for the first time in April over two days at Holme Pierrepont to talk about their role. A fly on the wall would have been impressed by their expertise, and left clamouring for the outstanding three regions (the East, Yorks and Humberside and Thames Downriver) to be included.
Their job is to help the clubs and regattas in their regions to get more and better qualified coaches, attract new people into rowing, keep rowers in the sport, and exploit opportunities available through the ARA and local services.
The sessions attended by your reporter included a step by step guide to the Instructors Award and Bronze Level Coaching Award, clarification of national vocational qualifications and a lesson from Alan Meegan, the national development officer, on how to tap into money from a variety of grant-awarding bodies. These are the guys who will teach and eventually examine the coaching award schemes and assess the NVQs, and they also spent some time discussing how they would themselves keep up to speed with developments in safety procedures, physiology and training methods, biomechanics, nutrition, equipment development, psychology, rigging and communication through information technology.
Nigel Weare (Thames upriver) and John McCarthy (West Midlands), who have been in post for some time, were full of tips on how to teach very basic techniques for the new boys - Pat Lockley (North West), Simon McCarthy (South East/Thames Lower), Colin Brown (Northern) and Terry O'Neill (East Midlands).
Examples are how to get the best from a video camera, or how to organise time and therefore coach effectively, or how to teach people to teach safe power cleans in weightlifting. It was also clear that the coaching courses are under constant review to make them user-friendly by cutting out cumbersome procedures.
The team is not short on humour, either. Weare on safety procedure:
'They changed the recovery position a couple of weeks ago.'O'Neill: 'But they haven't changed the missionary position?'
Regional coaching development officers
© Copyright C. Dodd, 1997.
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