2017 is a significant year for the GymSports New Zealand XTND Youth Leadership Programme (XTND), previously known as Coach-In-Training (CIT), as the programme turns 30.
As documented in the 1988 – 1989 New Zealand Gymnastics Annual report, the original CIT pilot course was established by Mary Barbour in 1987 as a trial and had four C.I.T’s complete accreditation in October of that year. Once the programme had been tested with four coaches, it was then tested on seventeen adult coaches who successfully graduated in 1990.
The framework of the two-year course was fixed and the first groups were formed: Northland, Auckland Southern Group led by Tas Evans (Counties Manukau), Auckland Northern Group led by Caryle Cooper (Orewa) and Auckland Central led by Tracey Laxon. There were also clusters set up in the Waikato and Wellington. Reports on CIT stated that “a local supervisor was needed to establish a group. This youth training course has considerable potential in offering leadership training in general gymnastics to keep young helpers in community clubs. Three requests to begin groups in the South Island have been received.”
Since the initial trial of the programme it has grown in leaps and bounds. In the 1991- 1992 report there were just 14 modules delivered nationally across only 3 regions. Only three years later the programme had grown to 30 modules with over 250 coaches participating in the programme. The first National Camp was held with 26 participants and both the Artistic and Aerobic modules were trialed for the very first time.
After a full review of the CIT programme, it was relaunched as XTND in 2010. At present GymSports New Zealand has 8 Clusters (Northland, Taranaki/ Wanganui, Waikato/BOP, Hawkes Bay, Wellington, Canterbury, Otago) with the potential to add two more clusters in 2017-2018.
This year now sees 39 Clubs engaged, 40 Club based mentors and 52 modules being delivered throughout New Zealand across for the 3-year programme.
Since the start of the project many young coaches have graduated and continued to work in the gymsports community. One person we chatted to this month has helped countless students onto courses – have a read of what Carole has to share.