The SA Coaching Framework will be a system for the identification, recruitment, deployment, support and recognition of coaches. The thinking behind the SA Coach Framework has underpinned similar frameworks in the UK and in Europe. The approach outlined in the SA Coach Framework is recognised as a starting point for a proposed Global Framework for the recognition of coaching competence (South African Coaching Framework consultation document, March 2011).
Long Term Participant Development (LTPD) and Long Term Coach Development (LTCD) are seen as core building blocks of a system that aims to create an active and winning nation. There is also an emphasis of sport-specific delivery of these models. The proposed model for LTCD will be aligned to the National Qualifications Framework (NQF), which is administered by the South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA) and the Culture Arts Tourism Hospitality and Sport Sector Education and Training Authority (CATHSSETA).
The SA Coach Framework project is sponsored by Sport and Recreation South Africa (SRSA) and managed by the South African Sport Confederation and Olympic Commission (SASCOC). Successful implementation will require buy-in from the important stakeholders, e.g. SRSA, Department of Basic Education (DBE), CATHSSETA, SAQA, etc.
Various presentations and documentation relevant to the development and implementation of the SA Coach Framework are available on the SASCOC website: http://www.sascoc.co.za/sa-coaching-framework/
Launch & Implementation
The SA Coaching Framework was launched at the SASCOC Coaching Conference on 18-20 November 2011. In the first phase of implementation, which runs to March 2013, a project team will set up the structures and guidelines for the full system. In parallel a first wave of sports will be involved in developing sport-specific Tutor Training programmes aimed at school sport. The plan is to train up large numbers of coach educators and assessors who will then educate large numbers of school coaches in these sports.
National Federations have a key role to play in developing a realistic and workable LTCD that is aligned with the needs of the participants within their sport (as identified in models for LTPD). There is recognition of the significant capacity issues faced by many of the National Federations. The enhancement of National Federation capacity is considered a priority component of the implementation of the South African Coaching Framework.
SRSA are looking for Impact in terms of coaching Numbers; Levels; Demographics; and demonstrable activity in many Districts. SRSA envisage that the National Federations will be instrumental in delivery through their club structures.
Willing, Ready and Able
There is recognition of a lack of capacity amongst the majority of National Federations and that most are only active in 3 provinces. This limits the number of sports currently able to make an Impact.
At the end of 2011 National Federations were requested to complete an honest Willing; Ready and Able (WRA) assessment in order to determine which sports should participate in the first roll-out wave. A prerequisite for participation in the first-wave roll-out was that the National Federation needed to have either launched its LTPD model or be in the process of developing their model.
Whilst the SAOF is currently only one of 16 sports to have launched their LTPD model, our frank WRA assessment concluded that whilst we are Willing, we are neither Ready nor Able. Our WRA assessment was submitted to SASCOC along with a Management Committee resolution committing the federation to create a Long Term Coach Development plan that is aligned the SA Coach Framework.
The WRA assessment serves as a tool to assist us identify gaps and prioritise our efforts. SASCOC will use this assessment to evaluate progress that we make towards becoming Ready and Able. Although we are currently neither Ready nor Able, the conclusion is the same: our priority must be to develop our coaching system and align it with the SA Coach Framework.
It should be noted that Ready and Able are measured relative to our ability to make an Impact according to SRSA’s measures. What is clear is that the SAOF’s own strategy as embodied in our Development and Expansion plan is all about achieving the same goals, but at a more realistic level that is informed by our current capacity. We believe that constant progress in this direction will be viewed favourably by SASCOC and SRSA. Evidence of this is that our commitment to developing a LTPD model have already placed us in a very favourable light with both SRSA and SASCOC.
It should be noted that future access to government funding for sport (SRSA and SASCOC, via the National Lottery) will only be possible for National Federations that are aligned to the SA Coaching Framework. Any strategic or development plans need to specifically demonstrate that they support the targets of SRSA’s plans.
At the end of the day we know that our sport is all about the participants, and that is why we embraced LTPD. We have also recognised that without a coach education system, we are going to have difficulty fully implementing LTPD – the two go hand in hand. Hence it makes sense to embrace the LTCD project.
Re-energised Coach Commission
The SAOF development and implementation will be driven by our Coaching Commission, which will be re-energised.
We have no official, formal coaching and accreditation system. However, a number of experienced volunteers do provide ad-hoc coaching at beginner and high-performance level. We need to gain access to coaching material, which exists within well-developed orienteering federations. This will avoid the need to re-invent the wheel.
We often struggle to gain access to participants at schools. Currently we gain limited access through Life Orientation syllabus teachers who are inspired to provide orienteering instruction at their schools as part of that subject.
Actions proposed 2012-2014:
1) Develop a formal coaching education system. An initial draft document was produced in 2011 but needs adapting to the SA Coach Framework and LTPD model.
The SAOF is in the process of establishing a collaboration with the British Orienteering Federation, whose own LTCD model was recently re-developed and aligned with a similar Coach Framework system established in the UK.
We also aim to begin to populate the Orienteering coach education system by:
2) Initially focusing on the education and accreditation of school teachers, in particular, to develop the sport and introduce the sport to school children – in line with the initial implementation approach of the SA Coach Framework. A Level 1 Teacher’s course in orienteering is already developed for this purpose.
3) Developing an intermediate level of coaching (club level) aimed at retaining novices as they improve, and to develop future members of the national squads.