More than 100 coaches from nine sports at the Oxfordshire Coaching Conference 2012

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After the amazing success of the London 2012 Olympics, the question on many coaches minds is how are we going to cope with the surge in demand at grass roots level for sports coaching triggered by the inspirational performances of the world’s top athletes?

This was the theme of the Coaching Conference 2012 “The Legacy of 2012” that attracted 115 coaches from 9 sports for a day of talks and workshops on July 15 at Cokethorpe School in Witney.

RFU Player Development Manager, Gary Townsend, presented the key speech on “Athlete Centred Coaching”, to an audience of coaches from archery, athletics, rugby, netball, hockey, football, ice skating, rowing and synchronised swimming.

Workshops were both general and based on specific sports and included; “Building possession with young players” presented by OFA coach Paul Holder, “Developing quick interplay” by OFA coach Paul Lever, How to deliver engaging sessions” by Liz Burkinshaw and Lisa Manning, “Developing Talent” by Stuart Armstrong, “Introducing Rugby to children” and “Developing the whole person” by Gary Townsend, “Strength and Conditioning” by Keir Wenham, “Planning and Periodisation with ORFU Club Coaching Coordinators” by Gavin Wiliams, “Coaching Science - Theory to Practise” by Danny Newcombe and “Maximising Potential” by Jenny Gray.

Feedback received by conference organisers, Oxfordshire Sports Partnership, was very positive. Coaches said that the event was both valuable in terms of new knowledge, theory and techniques and of huge benefit to their own professional development. Time spent at the conference counts toward coaches ‘Continuing Professional Development’.

Gavin Williams, RFU Coaching & Playing Development Officer said, “I really enjoyed the conference and thought it was an excellent example of partnership working”.

Liz Burkinshaw, scUK tutor said, “I was really impressed with the Coaching Conference and Oxfordshire Sports Partnership for pulling coaches together under the big theme of participation.

The keynote speaker was fantastic. I think that it helped having an overall theme which meant that the coaches we are working with are able to get their head into it and really spend some time thinking and reflecting on their coaching practice so that they can improve their delivery and be more effective.”

Neil Meardon, Coach at Wallingford Rugby Club, said, “Thank you for organising another very successful day yesterday. I have attended them all and have always come away having learnt something and with new ideas. Not just from the workshops but also from talking to people from other sports and finding out how they are dealing with various issues they have and how we might help or adapt things for our sport. A great day!”

Laura McCullough, Coach at Oxford Hockey Club, said, “Fantastic opportunity to meet and network with other coaches”.

To read more about the Coaching Conference 2012 “The Legacy of 2012” click here for the latest edition of Coaching Matters.

If you would like to get involved in next conference or would like to contact the organisers please contact Denise Brown dmbrown@oxfordshiresport.org / 01865 252689.