On Saturday there was the first, (now to be held annually), British Wrestling Association Coaching Summit.
This summit was followed on Sunday by the first National Talent Squad of the new season.
The summit has been long advocated by Jem Lawson, Chair, and he professed his pleasure that this first step had taken place.
The summit was opened by Colin Nicholson (CE,) led by Eric Ciake (Talent Lead) and Trevor Hoskins (Membership Secretary & UKCC Tutor) was the third speaker on the subjects of Athlete Awards and UK Coaching Certificate (UKCC) Level 1 & 2 Courses as well as Coaches’ Continued Professional Development (CPD).
Fourteen attended the session which offered funded travel England and other Home Nations attendees, due to the importance of gaining feedback from those who deliver the Talent Pathway, be they Club, Regional or National coaches. Ian Wiggett, Board Director, Chair of the Welsh Wrestling Association and Chair of the Nations & Regions Committee ensured that Home Nations had their say in the future shape of the Talent Pathway.
Performance is one of the six Strategic Priorities of British Wrestling, the others being Governance, Community, Participation, Profile/Image and Funding.
The aim is to develop and nurture talented athletes through a national programme underpinned by a club based programme. Engagement of clubs is paramount to avoid extracting athletes from clubs into a national programme alone.
The method relies on a two-way flow of guidance and feedback.
The group discussed the function and shape of Regional Squads and the National Talent Squad and the best consistent approach
Key messages shared at the meeting, where there was much informed debate amongst participants, were:
- Target participation at European and World Championships as this sets examples for aspiring athletes coming up the system.
- Base the BWA Competition Calendar for 2017-18 on the UWW calendar
- Deliver a clear Pathway that meets the needs of our top athletes, coaches and officials. This should be aligned where possible across Home Nations, including clarification of age ranges.
- Review Regional Development Squads to ensure consistent participants and coaching approach
- Understanding of the Awards System is need by athletes and coaches
- Create a Database to make available securely, the individual development plans of National Talent Squad athletes
- Form an Under 23 Squad for GBR level athletes too old for the NTS
- Work towards performance hubs/clubs (Salford and London)
- Engage accredited Strength and Conditioning support
- Deliver BWA outcomes agreed with Sport England, as well as good governance such as the new Articles, to maintain current levels of funding by them
- Focus on the Commonwealth Games
- Review remuneration/honoraria of those giving up their time to enable the Talent Pathway to function
- Offer incentives for athletes to stay within the sport e.g. as coaches/officials at the end of their time on the squads
- Host a Coaching Summit at the start of every the season
- A National Talent Squad Leadership Team (NTSLT) has formed and met for the first time on 1st September. The NTSLT will support Eric in his delivery of an effective Talent Pathway. Members are:
- Chair: Jem Lawson
- Talent Lead: Eric Ciake
- Chief Exec: Colin Nicholson
- Secretary: Barry Pollin
Participants of the 17th September NTS Session