Hockey: Coaches look ahead to more engagement

CoachSG director Troy Engle wants the networking sessions to link coaches of different levels to share ideas for development. He also hopes the programme will induce athletes to stay involved in their sport.
CoachSG director Troy Engle wants the networking sessions to link coaches of different levels to share ideas for development. He also hopes the programme will induce athletes to stay involved in their sport.ST PHOTO: LIM YAOHUI

Local trainers confident that CoachSG can promote sporting involvement, development

One problem national women's hockey coach David Viner faces in his position is connecting with the schools hockey programmes, and the Australian yesterday learnt that his counterparts from other sports also face similar issues.

He said: "The other sports are all saying the same thing - the schools programme of the sport is often different from the federation's, so it's about finding that connection and ways that we can all be on the same page."

Viner, who was speaking to The Straits Times on the sidelines of the CoachSG launch yesterday, welcomed the possibility of exchanging thoughts and ideas with his fellow coaches through more networking sessions.

About 400 members of the coaching fraternity - including sports officials, coaching employers and coaches like Viner - were present at yesterday's event.

CoachSG aims to provide all coaches in Singapore with programmes that support their professional development throughout every stage of their coaching career.

These programmes also provide opportunities for coaches across different sports to come together for informal exchange of information.

Viner, who believes the coaching engagement aspect of the initiative will benefit coaches most, added: "I think the other part of it is also what we can give - it's all give-and-take. I'd like to think that I can offer something... I just want people to be more engaged in sport."

He is not the only coach who believes in the benefits of interacting with coaches from other sports.

Sharin Jamal, a senior coach at ActiveSG's tennis academy with 24 years of coaching experience, believes tennis coaches will have much to gain from such engagements. Apart from honing his charges' techniques, the 44-year-old believes good tennis players must also have good athletic skills, adding: "You need to be quick. Our field is tennis, but interacting with coaches of different sports will benefit what we teach."

One of them was national netball coach Yeo Mee Hong, who will lead defending champions Singapore at the SEA Games in August.

Yeo is confident the programmes offered by CoachSG will benefit her and her fellow coaches. "There will also be more awareness on the opportunities available in education and upgrading for our local coaches, and it will be beneficial for all of us," she added.

While raising the quality of coaching in Singapore is one of the key aims of the programme, CoachSG director Troy Engle stressed that winning medals was not its sole tangible benchmark of success. He noted that coaches could also contribute in other ways, for instance by keeping participants in a sport for the long haul.

He added: "They can (help) the five-year-old, seven-year-old or 19-year-old who got cut from the national team set-up to keep playing. And maybe that guy, because he loves the sport, will spend time coaching his kid in future."

CoachSG has also tied up with CoachEZ, a new mobile application co-founded by ex-national bowler Remy Ong, to connect coaches with those who want to take up a sport. The app will be launched in the third quarter this year.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 12, 2017, with the headline 'Coaches look ahead to more engagement'. Print Edition | Subscribe