South African Coaches in Greece at FISA development program
FISA Development Program
by Mpumi Geza
Sizwe Ndlovu and I had the opportunity to attend the FISA Development Program in Greece a few weeks ago, based at the Schinias Olympic Training Centre in Marathonas, popularly known as the home of the Greek national rowing team, as well as the rowing course where Donovan Cech and Ramon Di Clemente claimed the Olympic Bronze medal in the coxless pair at 2004 Athens Olympics Games.
The FISA Developmental program has been active since 1990, FISA has recently started a project to revise and update its coach education framework, levels and competencies, and is working to improve the educational methods to learn the levels 1 to 5 of the FISA coach education program.
Sizwe and I were fortunate to be sent by RowSA for the 6th version of this coaching academy over 5 days, Directed by FISA Development Director Mrs. Sheila Stephens Desbans and FISA Coaching Development Director Mr. Gianni Postiglione.
We arrived on Sunday the 24th of February; it was a slight shock to the system as we left a sunny and warm South Africa to then experience the a cold and windy Greece, but none the less the show had to go on and we quickly adapted and got settled, familiarized ourselves with the venue and got to interact with a few of the Greek national athletes and explore their training facility.
Before we knew it was then time to start the course on Monday morning, we were warmly hosted and welcomed by the Hellenic Rowing Federation with lots of coffee and a warm lecture room;
The week included lectures on:
We were also tasked with daily assignments on:
We were also split up into various mentored groups for the practical work and presentations and assessments at the end of each day.
The highlight of the week was the mentor group I was in, I was grouped with a wide range of experience from around the world, namely Francesa Postiglione (Italy), Mark Mungal (Trinidad & Tobago), Laryssa Biesenthal (Canada), Sam Wong (Hong Kong China) and Ibtissem Trimech (Tunisia) the knowledge and experience shared in this group was unbelievable, to learn from and interact with these influential world rowing coaches was an amazing experience, it opened my mind to various perspectives and also gave me a clear understanding of the different challenges coaches experience at high level.
The week quickly came to an end and it was almost time to head back home on Friday afternoon, we were and inducted into Development Team for Coaching Education where will be invited to various development training camps, To help organize and plan coach education courses and training camps along side our mentors from course, as a form of assessment from the learnings of the coaching academy. This will hopefully happen later this year, in the meantime Sizwe and I have a lot of learning content to get through and apply later this year.