CoachSG to provide more support and training for coaches in Singapore
CoachSG, an academy for coaches of all levels, aims to provide various forms of support to all trainers
As a volunteer coach, Scott Ng knows too well the challenges facing trainers like him.
They devote their free time to the sport they love. More often than not, they get little in return, except for the satisfaction of seeing their charges do well.
Thanks to CoachSG, an academy for coaches of all levels by Sport Singapore, trainers like Ng will get more support in nurturing sporting talents.
CoachSG, which held its launch and inaugural conference at Bugis+ yesterday, aims to enhance and support the development of professional coaching capabilities.
Some 400 coaches were present as CoachSG unveiled its plans for the year ahead.
Coaches can expect better financial support, increased relevance and accessibility in sport coach training and greater recognition of their value.
Local coaches registered with the National Registry of Coaches can also enjoy a 50 per cent discount off fees for selected coaching programmes, thanks to CoachSG's partnership with NTUC's Employment and Employability Institute.
Ng, a 54-year-old financial planner who coaches dragon boaters at Paya Lebar Kovan Community Club, said: "(The challenges for coaches are) taking time to equip yourself with courses when you're not paid.
"For those who are keen in taking up coaching as a career, this would be something good.
Teachers change their students, but coaches can change a person’s lifestyle for the rest of his life.CoachSG director Troy Engle
"I'm lucky, I'm still led by passion."
Head coach of sports charity SportCares' football programme, Isa Haleem, appreciates the financial respite that would allow coaches to "go out and learn freely".
Coaches can also look forward to an array of hands-on technical workshops to help them adapt to the changing climate of the sporting scene, as well as hone their soft skills.
It is a departure from the current formal coaching education system, the National Coaching Accreditation Programme (NCAP), in which there are three levels of certification to be achieved.
Melissa Lim, a full-time coach with the Tchoukball Association of Singapore, is looking forward to the changes in curriculum structure.
She said: "The NCAP level one (basic courses) are in place, but levels two and three have been missing (due to over-subscription and under-supply).
"There are a lot of coaches who already have the basics, who are looking forward to improve their skills."
On top of the workshops, a coach developer programme will also be launched to train experienced coaches in mentoring younger ones.
Neo Beng Siang, coach of the Singapore Slingers basketball team, said: "If you allow coaches to learn from other coaches, I think we can see improvements (in the coaching scene) in five to six years' time.
"Whether you are doing the mentoring or receiving (mentorship), you both learn."
CoachSG will also give certificates of accomplishment to coaches of medal-winning athletes, starting from August's South-east Asia Games and the Asean Para Games in September.
But CoachSG director Troy Engle, also the Singapore Sport Institute's director of coach development, emphasised that there are also other benchmarks of a coach's success.
"What we really want are the coaches that can keep participants in the sport long," he said.
He added that there should be a shift in focus from high-performance coaches to "coaches neglected by programmes in the past, specifically those in youth, disability, senior sport and the grassroots community".
"For long-term development and stability of sport, those are the ones we need to focus on, upscaling them to become better at what they do," he said.
Engle believes that coaching is the most noble profession, probably even nobler than teaching.
He said: "Teachers change their students, but coaches can change a person's lifestyle for the rest of his life."
An app to match coaches with sporting enthusiasts
Who better to empathise with the challenges of the local coaching eco-system, than a coach himself?
That was what former national bowling coach Remy Ong thought when he conceived the idea of mobile app Coachez.
Set to be launched later this year, Coachez allows sport enthusiasts to search for coaches.
RATE AND REVIEW
It has a rate and review system so that users can make informed decisions. It also assists coaches in "the business side of sport" by managing their schedules and billings.
Said Ong, co-founder of Coachez: "I think the biggest challenge coaches in Singapore face is how to get more students.
"There are a lot of people who are really passionate about sports but, somehow, cannot make it their livelihood."
Coachez will partner with CoachSG, an academy by Sport Singapore that aims to enhance and support the development of professional capabilities of coaching.
Coaches registered with the National Registry of Coaches (NROC) will enjoy free and pre-approved registration for Coachez, while non-NROC coaches will have to pay an undisclosed fee and undergo a vetting process.
CoachSG director Troy Engle said: "(This app) adds to professionalism.
"It's designed by a coach, (so) it's a good opportunity to alleviate some of the challenges our coaches face."
Coaches can pre-register now on www.coachezapp.com.