Opportunity, Develop, Development and skill acquisition
These words described what the 3 day trip to PNG to further develop the Coaches of PNG, so that they had the vital tools to go back to their respective provinces to further developed the sport of Triathlon in PNG.
As I have been to PNG on a few occasions as my role as Coach of Rachel James on her quest to become more competitive at the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games, which included the Pacific Games, PNG National Champs, New Ireland Triathlon Academy (NITA) Junior training Camp and the PNG National Sports Awards, I have met a few of the Coaches, Athletes and Technical Officials that were present at the Club Community Triathlon Course.
To give you some background into how the course presented itself. Late last year, Rachel James (Pacific Islands Triathlon Champion / PNG National Champion) was selected by the PNG Olympic Committee to attend a leadership camp for potential athletes earmarked for the 2018 Commonwealth Games. During this leadership camp all athletes had to identify and implement a key area to their respective sports that would help to improve or develop that area.
Rachel came back to the Sunshine Coast and discussed with me that she wanted to implement a triathlon coaching course for the local PNG coaches to enhance the technical and practical side of coaching. The last coaching course that was run in PNG was in 2010. Rachel discussed with Triathlon Queensland about facilitating a Club Community Coaching Course. Triathlon Queensland were keen to move forward on this, to further develop and assistance with the Coaching PNG side.
As I am engaged by Triathlon Queensland to facilitate the Club Community and also the Development Coaching Course in Queensland, and as I have been to PNG and worked with PNG Athletes before, it was set up and locked the date in for the course to be presented on 27th-29th January.
So to further enhance the development of the Coaches in PNG, Rachel also organised the OSEP Training Course to run in conjunction with the Club Community Course, which ran from the 25th-27th January.
Now setting this course up wasn't an easy feat and there were a few dramas along the way especially with trying to find a new venue 1 week out from the course starting, as the pervious venue was closed down for a period of time. A massive thanks to the Aviat Club in Port Moresby for coming to the rescue. (Background on the Aviat Club a massive supporter of sport and especially triathlon in PNG. Established in 1948). With a swimming pool and tennis courts on site and a conference room all our needs were taken care of. As you can see from the photos it is a very nice place indeed.
To give you an idea, I would normally present this course in 5-6 hours here in Queensland. After a few discussions with Rachel and Daniel from Tri Qld, we decided to run it over 2 days and on the 3rd day run a few of the local athletes thru a coaching session so the coaches present see how I conduct a Coaching Session and learn from things that I pick up in a coaching environment.
With 16 Coaches being put thru the course, also taking into consideration the following points - 1 - 2.5 days in an OSEP Course leading into the Club Community Course - 2 - Varying levels of education between the participants - 3 - Varying levels of Coaching Ability - 4 - PNG Politics - 5 - Travel and time constraints (most don't have cars and rely on public transport) - 6 - PNG Time - if you say starting at 8am it could mean 8.30am - 7 - Need to be flexible and adaptable and changing course on spot to suit needs of participants - 8 - Needing to be more practical with visualisation opposed to just reading off slide show or would of lost the concentration of the participants. - 9 - Concentration span
So a lot of thought needed to go into how the delivery of the course was to be done. A few Chats with Rachel and Daniel (TQ) and we had a plan of attack.
This is my 25th year in the sport of Triathlon, the last 15 years as a Coach. The thing I see and what I loved about doing the course up in PNG was seeing the enthusiasm of the Coaches that were involved. They were eager to learn and were so appreciative of what you did for them. They knew I gave up valuable coaching time away from my coaching environment, but the plus side was they learnt so much in a short period of time that will further enhance and develop the Coaching skills and acquisition in the future. Its giving back to the grass roots of sport in a developing country.
There is an enormous amount of talent in PNG and if we can start a process of one day seeing a PNG athlete at the Olympic Games then we have done our part in this development. All countries started somewhere and at some time. PNG's time is now and it is happening. It will take time, patience but the process will pick up momentum from here and I look forward to seeing what the future holds for Triathlon in PNG
Honoured to be a part of the process and look forward to seeing the development when I go back up there for their National Championships later in the Year.
I would like to take the opportunity to thank the following people.
Rachel James - A massive thanks for the time and work you put in for this course and implementation of a standardised Coaching standard across the provinces. I know there was a lot of dramas but you got there in the end and you should be very proud of what you achieved in such a short period of time getting a dream to fruition. Even though you sacrificed a lot to get this up and going the reward will be shown in the years to come.
Chris Hagan and AON - For supplying and sponsoring the Coaching shirts for the Participants of the Course. They looked great in the Team shot and PNG has a standardised Coaching Shirt that is associated with the participants of the course and will be recognised anywhere that they wear that shirt.
Triathlon Queensland - A massive thanks to Daniel and the TQ team for the support and implementation of this course. It meant a lot to the PNG coaches and to have that support in the grass roots area of Coaching adds that vital experience to the development that we will see in the years to come.
Aviat Club - To Glen and the wonderful staff at the Avait Club. You made it a pleasure to come in each day to facilitate the course in a relaxed and friendly place. All our needs were met and couldn't have ask for a better venue. A massive thanks for stepping in at the last minute to support the course
Andrew Olsen - President PNG Tri Federation. A big thank you for the airport pickups and drop offs. For supporting us with accommodation and looking after me during my stay in PNG. Always look forward to the next trip
Last but not least, the 16 Coaches. Thanks for giving your time up to further develop your skills as coaches to further the development that you have started in your respective coaching bases in your provinces. There was a lot of brain explosions from the amount of information being absorbed but you could see the development over the couple of days. Enjoy the coaching journey. It is one that can be very rewarding.
As Paull Kelly says in his song "From little things, big things grow" This is just the start of the journey........
Sunshine Coast Triathlon Academy / Protector Aluminium Junior Scholarship Holder, Ryan Marsh, Had this to say about the New Missile Eclipse Goggles. They are similar to the Missiles with the added benefit of great fitting, style and awesome colours. The major difference is the double metallic mirror lens for increased clarity in the water and reduction in brightness and glare out of the water.
The Missile Eclipse Goggles are just excellent, now you can swim in the middle of the day without the problem of hurting your eyes. The Vorgee Missile Eclipse is my chosen brand and choice of goggles. Thanks Vorgee Australia for making awesome products that are simply irresistible.
Sunshine Coast Triathlon Academy / Protector Aluminium Junior scholarship Holder, Kaya Shults, said this about the new Vorgee Eclipse Missile Goggle "These are the coolest goggles I’ve worn".
Unfortunately I fractured a bone in my wrist a couple days before I received my new Vorgee Missile Eclipse goggles, so I couldn’t wear them straight away because I couldn’t swim. I already heard so much about them when everyone first used them; when I had to stand on the pool deck and watch.
I finally got to use the goggles about 2 weeks after I received them. I used them with my Vorgee snorkel and kickboard because I can’t swim or splash my cast too much. It was a very bright day but my Vorgee Missile Eclipse goggles did an amazing job at blocking out the glare, and made it easier to see the clock with the sun right behind it. It was like wearing really nice water-proof sunglasses. Even though my cast was wrapped in layers of plastic bags, glad wrap and tape it still somehow managed to get a little damp – but it was definitely worth it.
Head Coach of Sunshine Coast triathlon Academy, Toby Coote, had this to say about the New Missile Eclipse Goggle made by Vorgee. Talk about glare reduction!! This takes the way we swim in open water and those bright sunny days to another level. When we talk about protecting the eyes from the harmful UV rays, the Missile Eclipse reduces in a way that I have never had before. And believe me, I've tried a few goggles in my 25 years in triathlon and a further 10 years in surf life saving and swimming.
The clarity that goes with the double tinted lens, the reduction in glare making it even easier to navigate, especially swimming into the sun in open water. But the best thing I like about it, is the protection of the eyes from the UV rays. We were sunglasses on the bike and on the run, but this new technology that we see here from Vorgee goes to that next level in supporting the eyes. Well done to the Team at Vorgee. A real winner here and has my tick of approval as the official goggle of the Sunshine Coast Triathlon Academy.
Do yourself and your eyes a favour, and try out the New Vorgee Missile Eclipse
A great weekend of racing from Sunshine Coast Triathlon Academy / Protector Aluminium athletes at Round # 2 of the Australian Junior Series (2 x podium finishers) on Saturday and QTS # 5 doubling as the Australian Sprint Championships and World Champs selection race (7 podium finishers and 5 national medals) on the Sunday both at Robina on the Gold Coast.
Firstly to QTS # 5, The Australian Sprint Champs, Where SCTA athletes were successful in securing 5 Australian Medals with Emma Dann (14-15), Jordan Gover (45-49) and Maureen Cummings (55-59) secured 2nd places in their respective categories, while Zsolt Dallos (35-39) and Tania Gover (40-44) took out bronze medals.
In the Enticer distance both Jazzy Shults (U/14) and Ryan Marsh (U/14) both 3rd making it two podiums in 2 days of racing. Kayleigh Foster just missed the podium in 5th (U/14). While in the Kool Kids Parker Deutzmann led the charge with a 5th (7-9) while Jemma Hynes was 13th (10-11)
At Round # 2 of National Junior Series we saw an afternoon of action with plenty of spills, rainy weather with fast and furious racing. The format saw 2 separate races during the afternoon where the times were combined together to work out the overall winner. Youth A + B (13-16 Years) raced together over 310/7/1.3, while the Junior Male (17-19) raced alone while the Junior Female (17-19), Open and U/23 Females raced together. Both raced over the distance of 400/9.4/2.5 over 2 separate races.
SCTA / Protector Aluminium Junior Scholarship Holder, Ryan Marsh, had a great afternoon of racing. With Youth A + B racing together, with some 3 years older than him, but he gave it his all over the 2 races to take out 2nd Place Overall Youth B. Race # 1 - 29th (3rd Youth B) / Race # 2 - 31st (2nd Youth B).
Jazzy Shults also raced extremely well in the Youth A + B category. Jazzy is the youngest in Youth B and has another year in this category so it was always going to be a great experience for her. Not only did she gain experience but landed herself on the podium in 3rd Place Youth B Race # 1 - 34th (7th Youth B) / Race # 2 - 26th (2nd Youth B).
Rachel James raced in the Open category and gave her some valuable experience racing against some potential Commonwealth Games reps from Australia in the Open / U/23 and possible junior category. It was another learning curve that will further enhance her potential selection into the PNG Team for Commonwealth Games where she finished 3rd Open Female Race # 1 - 3rd Open / Race # 2 - 3rd Open
Macey Roberts raced very well, with this is her first season of draft legal racing in the Youth A category. Every race that she lines up in is gaining valuable experience to further races down the track. Macey improved her finish from Race # 1 to Race # 2 to finish 32nd overall Race # 1 - 35th / Race # 2 - 32nd
Meg Roberts, like her sister Macey, is racing her first season of draft legal racing and is also gaining valuable experience racing against some of the top juniors in the world. Meg also improved on her first race finish to her second race finish to record a 32nd place in Junior Female Race # 1 - 36th / Race # 2 - 31st
Unfortunately for Jake Hynes, Junior Male, was involved in a crash at the dismount line where 3 guys came down in front of him and was taken out by one of their bikes. He had raced extremely well and was in striking position for the run after dragging his pack up to come together with the front pack. A short trip to hospital and some x-rays showed no breaks, but some ligament damage. We wish Jake a speedy recovery especially Qld Schools Tri Champs around the corner
Race Results from the weekend below. Well done to all that raced
QTS # 5 - Robina Triathlon 22.01.17 750/20/5 Doubling as Australian Sprint Champs Emma Dann - 2nd Place 14-15 Years Female - 2nd Australian Champs Jordan Gover - 2nd Place 45-49 Years Male - 2nd Australian Champs Maureen Cummings - 2nd Place 55-59 Years Male - 2nd Australian Champs Zsolt Dallos - 3rd Place 35-39 Years Male - 3rd Australian Champs Tania Gover - 3rd Place 40-44 Years Female - 3rd Australian Champs Rachel James - 9th Place 30-34 Years Female Kelly Enright - 13th Place 30-34 Years Female
Enticer 300/10/2.5 Ryan Marsh - 3rd Place U/14 Years Male Jazzy Shults - 3rd Place U/14 Years Female Kayleigh Foster - 5th Place U/14 Years Female Joshua Nixon - 25th U/14 Years Male
Kool Kids 100/2/500 Parker Deutzmann - 5th Place 7-9 Years Male Jemma Hynes - 13th Place 10-11 Years Female Matthew Nixon - 18th Place 10-11 Years Male Scott Marsh - 20th Place 10-11 Years Male
Australian Junior Series Race # 2 Robina 21.01.17 400/9.4/2.5 x 2 or 310/7/1.3 x 2 Ryan Marsh - 2nd Place Youth B - 13-14 Years Male Jazzy Shults - 3rd Place Youth B - 13-14 Years Female Rachel James - 3rd Place Open Female Macey Roberts - 32nd Place Youth A - 15-16 Years Female Meg Roberts - 32nd Place Junior 17-19 Years Female