Auckland Cricket with support from the Greater Auckland Coaching Unit (GACU) has implemented a coaching initiative targeted at secondary school students. GACU are an organisation that works across the four Regional Sports Trusts in the greater Auckland region, supporting sporting codes to create improved pathways to recruit, retain and upskill coaches at all levels. In 2009 GACU were able to secure funding from the ASB Community Trust to support targeted coach development projects, for which Auckland Cricket was given the opportunity to apply.
Our student coach development project aims to increase the quality and quantity of secondary school coaches by targeting senior school students as coaches. It is in response to the current school cricket scene where fewer teachers are being involved as team coaches and only a small percentage of them are willing to develop their coaching skills further. The aim is to create a ‘coach development programme’ – recruiting, training and providing support to a pool of approximately 100 Year 11 & Year 12 students each year who will then coach at a junior level in their secondary schools, delivering over 4,500 coaching hours throughout the season.
“The Greater Auckland Coaching Unit is delighted to be able to support Auckland Cricket with the delivery of their “Secondary School Student Coach Project”. This project has been designed to address a general lack of quality coaches at the junior secondary school level. We are extremely impressed with the comprehensive detail that Auckland Cricket have put into the development of this important community coaching initiative. I am sure the project will provide positive benefits to the cricket community of Auckland.” – Andy Rogers (GACU Director).
The specifics of the program in Year 1 are:
The CACT intake will also be provided with the following support:
- 100 Year 11 students trained as Coaching a Cricket Team (CACT) coaches, signing an agreement to participate in the program and deliver at least 50 hours of coaching at their school through 2009-10
- 40 of these students will be identified, selected and provided with a scholarship to enter the Level One program in Year 2
- A follow-up session from experienced coach educators once they have completed half a season of coaching
- Provision of a branded t-shirt for each coach recognizing them as part of the program
- 10 Session plans and other coaching resources
The recipients of Level One scholarships will undertake the qualification through the 2010 winter and be provided with further support from CoachForce personnel. As the NZC Level One is also aligned with the NZ Qualifications Framework, students receive credits on their educational record - an extra benefit to their participation in the program.
Through September we have delivered five regional CACT courses to 100 students and they will begin coaching at their respective schools in Term 4. Feedback has been positive from the student coaches - Marty Guy from Westlake BHS stated, “The student coaching programme has been a great opportunity for me. I really enjoyed the Coaching a Cricket Team course and I like coaching the juniors. It has really helped my own game and my communication skills. I am looking forward to applying for a Level One Scholarship so I can carry on in my coaching career and along the coaches’ pathway.”
We hope to establish this as an annual program and with the retention of coaches beyond their involvement in the scheme we trust it will make a significant impact on the pool of qualified coaches we will have available at all levels in the future.