XTND – Our Future Coaches in Northland

Anna RobertsonAuckland-Northland, e-News, Education, Regional, XTND Youth Leadership Programme

The last weekend in March saw another great camp for Northland XTND students take place at Opua-Paihia in the Bay of Islands. The camp brought together 23 students from Active Attitude, Bay of Islands GC, Kerikeri GC, Fantastic Gymnastics, Triple A and the Whangarei Academy of Gymnastics.
The Northland XTND camp was organised at the Bay of Islands Gymnastic Club, offering the students some unique opportunities, including a visit to Action World on the Saturday and an early morning swim and jump off the wharf in Paihia on Sunday morning.

23 XTND students all with a passion for coaching gymnastics, trampoline and aerobics attended the camp to connect and learn from each other and to complete the modules – Group Management and Understanding Movement 1 for the 15 new XTND Year 1 students; and Competent Coach for the 8 Year 2 students. For seven of the year 2 students it was their last module in the two-year XTND programme and they will graduate soon with the equivalent of a Foundation Coach qualification.

Ashleigh McCaw is the inspiring and hardworking person behind the XTND programme in Northland together with Janet McLea and Ali Edwards. Janet presented the year 1 Modules and Ashleigh the Competent Coach Module, where the students brought together learnings from earlier modules as well as their practical experience as coaches. This was followed by an afternoon of challenging activities on the Flying Trapeze, a High Wire and Tarzan swings at Action World and a 30-metre long water slide. After the full-on learning, and challenging activities, they all finished the day with a lovely (and well-deserved) dinner in Paihia.

It was wonderful to see how quick the 15 year 1 students bonded with each other, worked hard and had fun together. That is an illustration of some of the benefits of the XTND leadership programme which is designed to meet the specific learning needs of young people by delivering learning little and often and in a friendly environment with peers.

These young people are the future of coaching in our sports and it is wonderful to see that there are so many keen, talented and enthusiastic individuals willing to take up coaching and committing themselves to the Northland clubs.

By undertaking the XTND programme, young coaches are better prepared for the adult learning pathway and therefore are able to successfully attend the Elementary level courses when they graduate at the age of 16. Being able to gain an elementary coaching qualification a year ahead of those young coaches who did not do XTND is also an advantage.

Clubs sometimes highlight that these young coaches only stay for a couple of years before heading off to university. However having trained, enthusiastic and motivated young coaches for a couple of years is far better than struggling to find the coaches a club needs.  A new intake of 3-5 XTND coaches in a Club each year creates an ongoing supply of trained and experienced coaches at the age of 16-18 before they potentially move on to tertiary education.

Funding applications for XTND courses can make it more affordable for clubs

For many funding organisations and trusts, Teenage education programmes are a key priority so funding applications for XTND are generally well-received.

A BIG thank you

Finally, a shout out to the parent helpers – the weekend would not have been possible without them giving up their time to help out. Thank you so much for supporting our young coaches.

Check out also some of the fun the XTND students got up to, in the videos below: