Island life for cricket coach

Just imagine making a career out of cricket coaching on a beautiful Pacific Island. Well Mark Coles, a former Wellington based coach is doing just that.

Coles took up the position of Head Coach on Vanuatu last month. www.blackcaps.co.nz spent five minutes chatting with him about coaching on the tiny pacific island nation.

Coles has always been heavily involved with cricket. He grew up with it and wanted to give something back to the game after his playing days were over. He first got into coaching 10 years ago and started off with the Wellington women’s side. He also spent time coaching in Queensland. He was one of over 50 applicants for the Vanauatu job which was advertised through the ICC.

He started his new roll three weeks ago in the cricket mad nation. “Cricket is the most popular sport with all age groups so it will be exciting to work with a passionate group,” he said.

Cole’s goal is to grow the game enough in the country to ensure they have a strong development base and in turn help grow the talent in the national side. “I want to develop Vanuatu cricket at all levels and learn as much as I can about new cultures,” he said. “We have development officers visiting schools and I will be very keen to involve myself with these visits to help and encourage young boys and girls to involve themselves with cricket.”

Although he’s got a level 3 coaching qualification behind him, he puts his success down to the support of his family. “I would never have made it this far without family support so I am so very grateful to them for everything I have achieved to date.”

Quick questions with Mark Coles

What’s the most interesting thing about coaching?
“Working with a variety of athletes from different backgrounds and the personalities they bring to the game.”

What’s been some of your career highlights to date?
“Coaching in Australia  with a great group of athletes, getting the job with Vanuatu and being involved with top coaches like John Buchanan and also having the opportunity to chat with Wayne Bennett one on one.”

What advice do you have for other up and coming coaches?
“Never give up.. It has been tough to get to this stage of my brief coaching career, but determination, passion and self belief helps you achieve little goals in life.”

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