Local coaches need to step up

Editorial

MOST people coach because they enjoy working in sports and with athletes.
To achieve goals, athletes need skill and knowledge–and someone to introduce this skill and knowledge competently.
Technical sporting knowledge, people management, communication skills, understanding of safety principles relevant to the sport and effective coaching techniques are just a few of the areas coaches should have competence in.
Coaching accreditation courses will assist coaches in developing these skills.
They have received a thorough coach education and have demonstrated to a qualified assessor that they hold the competencies of their level of accreditation.
Sport remains one of Papua New Guinea’s most cherished passtimes.
Some say it is one of the best and most effective tools for creating awareness and passing on messages. It is also a binding agent in a country of several hundred different languages and cultures.
Rugby league is of course deemed the country’s national sport, but there are a wide array of codes that people participate week in, week out and year in year out.
It is a change that other countries in our region and the rest of the world have witnessed in varying degrees at some stage in their histories.
There are more opportunities for the elite athlete now then there ever was at any time in PNG’s 44-year history.
The pressure to change and improve has always been there.
Internally, we can be our own harshest critics when it comes to performance on the international stage but now the pressure is on to start performing on the world stage.
Admittedly, PNG has some way to go before it can be perceived as a genuine heavyweight in any sport but over the last five to six years the signs have been encouraging.
The Hunters are a prime example of what good funding, the right technical and administrative support can achieve.
The talent, as everyone is realising now has always been there, it was just never given the chance to develop and blossom.
Players are starting to reap the benefits of a concerted approach, a professional approach.
Melbourne Storms Justin Olam and Wynnum-Manly Seagulls fullback Edene Gebbie are some of the home talent rugby league players that have opened doors for themselves in Australia’s National Rugby League.
Their success stories are just for taking that step, whether they make it or not pales in comparison to the fact that they are promoting Papua New Guineans as marketable athletes in the world of professional sports.
The Hunters’ fortunes in the Queensland Cup since 2014 has mirrored the road PNG sport is taking.
This week, the PNG Rugby Football League announced the appointment of former Sunshine Coast assistant coach Matt Church as the new head coach for SP Hunters ahead of two local coaches.
According to PNGRFL, Church met all the necessary requirements including qualifications of being an accredited ARL level 3 certified coach.
Sports here in PNG is starting to become more streamlined and are being administered following international and regional standards.
Time for all sporting codes to invest in equipping local coaches with international accreditation so they have access to the latest and most important coaching resources, peer-reviewed studies and ongoing professional development seminars to keep their knowledge up-to-date.
As the country moves into the new millennium, it is becoming apparent that there is a change taking place in sports.
We are moving from the casual, recreational approach to the structured and professional.

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