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Rowing coach urges Africa to tap into full potential
- Updated: September 12, 2013
There is an enormous gold mine of talent on the African continent and Rowing South Africa (RSA) aims for gold at the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics.
Africa needs to stop seeing itself as a development programme but embrace the development of skill in appropriate disciplines, hone in on fewer sports and perfect them. That’s the opinion of Rowing South Africa (RSA) coach, Roger Barrow who was speaking on the second day of the 9th ICCE Global Coaches Conference at the Coastlands Umhlanga Hotel in Durban.
Says Barrow: Attitude, culture of winning and performing at international level is our vision as a federation. Good and thorough preparation makes anything possible. As a coach, I believe the secret to good preparation of athletes is training hard throughout the year and missing as little training as possible. Also by not taking shortcuts, paying attention to detail, and possessing technical skill the race should finally be won in the months before the competition.
As coaches we should have a clear aim and target at a national and international level and work systematically towards winning. It is fundamental for all coaches to understand their sport through constant research and analysis of international trends and building base knowledge. Emphasis on correct training and technique also aids coaches to better prepare their athletes.”
Michigan State University Director, Dan Gould highlighted the importance of creating the right environment for children in sport. Sports play a major role in childrens growth, and according to statistics, over 51 million young people are involved in sport world wide.
Potential outcomes of sport in children are: competence, confidence, connection to others and the building of character through team work and fairness. The coach is the person who has the greatest effect on creating a conducive environment or climate.”
Gould informed the delegates that athletes talent development process involves an active start, learning the fundamentals, learning to train, training to train, training to compete and finally training to win.
Netball Association of Malawi Development Coach, Mary Waya encouraged delegates to create a conducive environment and provide women the opportunity to coach.┬á Women need psychological, physical and moral support to enable them to make decisions, choices and work hard in the coaching fraternity.
Being at the first world netball championship at the age of 23 and now a coach for 25 years, Waya gained personal passion with the game.
The transformation of skills and knowledge has an impact on the young girls who are always eager to learn and appreciate new techniques and skills. As a coach I started identifying new skills and players within the team and nurtured this talent.
After thorough training, Malawi went unbeaten for 12 years and were placed fifth in the world.
Sport and Recreation South Africa (SRSA) Director General, Alec Moemi informed the meeting about the exponential growth of schools. This results in a continuous challenge in terms of introducing sports programmes.
There are few schools producing players and champions, the broader pool of talent is neglected and untapped yet a huge reservoir of talent exists so we have to tap into that talent.
The implementation of the 20-year School Sport programme which commenced in 2012 allows all schools to participate and this has been viewed as a critical priority and a bedrock for identification and development of talent to enable us to be a winning nation.
SRSA has set aside 40% of the budget which will be injected into the School Sport programme. The department is working in collaboration with SASCOC to ensure the implementation of this venture. We aim to have introduced all the sport codes by 2016.