Swimming Canada has announced its Para-swimming Select Coaches Group, as four deserving members will be granted financial support to attend professional development in the coming months.
For the 2017-18 season, select coaches will have the opportunity to visit a mentor coach program, either the Canadian Swimming Coaches and Teachers Association or a Regional Coaching Conference, for one week. The Regional Coaching Conferences will be taking place nationwide in the fall of 2017 and will feature guest appearances from successful club and national coaches.
The candidates were chosen based off of their applications, and their ability to coach athletes onto the Canadian Para-swimming national team, NextGen programming, for the sport class 1-5, development team, or training camps. Their participation as a staff coach on international teams and with the camps and programs at all levels were also considered.
The following coaches have been named to the 2017-18 Para-swimming Select Coaches Group:
• Ryan Allen – Club de Natation Blue et Or, New Brunswick
• Ryan Jones – Variety Village Aquatic Club, Ontario
• Vicki Keith – Kingston Y Penguins Aquatic Club, Ontario
• Leonard Roxon – Aqua Aces Swim Club, Newfoundland
“I’m very excited for the opportunities that will come out of it,” Jones said. “I have a great group of swimmers back home and I’m always trying to do what I can to get better to help them reach their goals.”
When asked what he is hoping to learn, Jones replied: “I’m a little new to running a whole year so I want to focus on yearly training plans, how to set everything up and different training zones.”
“I’m sure many more things will come out of it as well,” he added.
The Para-swimming Select Coaches Group was developed with the strategic aim to enhance the development of a sustainable stream of world leading high performance coaches.
“We are pleased with the first year of the program as we have a balance of new and more established coaches,” said James Hood, Senior Manager, High Performance Para-swimming Programs. “The work we are doing now will help to build our capacity for future generations.”
The program is financially support by Sport Canada/Own The Podium and Swimming Canada. It will require each of these coaches to include peer-to-peer education as they share their experiences and learnings with others at future coach education sessions and workshops.
“It is not just the learning of the individual coach that we are trying to impact, but also the expansion of knowledge of all our coaches,” Hood said.
“This program will add to our existing professional development for coaches, which includes education sessions run at Swimming Canada championships including the Can Am Para-swimming Championships and the Canadian Swimming Championships. These, added to our targeted sessions for carded coaches, help to build coaches from novice to high performance. In total more than 45 coaches have been involved in our professional development programming, including more than 40 over the last 18 months.
Swimming Canada is working diligently toward its mission of being among the world leading swimming nations and believes that providing professional development opportunities such as mentorship programs, conferences and workshops is a step towards reaching that goal.
The development and continuity of coaching programs ensures consistency in high performance coaching strategies, a necessary plan as Swimming Canada hopes to become a Top 6 total medal producing nation at the Paralympic Games in 2020.