St. Catharines Rowing Club Invests in Coach Compliance
The St. Catharines Rowing Club has worked hard this year to make sure their coaches have ‘crossed all the t’s and dotted the i’s’ when it comes to coach compliance at the club.
Through hard work, dedication and some creative thinking, the club is near 100% coach compliance, a huge improvement from just under 40% last November. The push for all the coaches to become compliant under Row Ontario’s Coach Certification Policy began earlier this year as the outdoor competitive season was on the horizon.
“It was a team effort and a really big push within the club and our coaches to try and get every coach ECC compliant,” said Aaron Thompson, the SCRC’s Club Captain. “It took a lot of work on the club side of things just to monitor everyone and figure out where everyone stood with their modules. Kate Savage at Row Ontario also helped a lot and kept track of who finished what module. It was a lot of work, but we all agreed it was an important requirement for us to meet. We wanted all our coaches to be compliant; to limit complications during the high school season as much as possible.”
While not necessarily an exciting process, completing the required e-learning sessions is an important step for every coach to take to ensure the safety of all rowers and other coaches on and off the water. Row Ontario has an organizational goal of reaching 100% for all registered coaches across the province, and the SCRC, which now boasts the most compliant coaches in the province, has taken a big step in helping to achieve that goal. After internal discussions, the club’s board decided it was important to put the club’s resources towards coach compliance.
“The board was great throughout this whole process,” said Thompson. “Last summer, SCRC started a coach’s fund which included getting our coaches training. The Board is always trying to think of ways to support all our coaches because they’re such a valuable part of the club. We wanted to make getting coaches in compliance as smooth as possible and covering the costs was a big step. We were happy with how everything went and we’re close to 100% now, which is great. And it’s great that it was taken care of in the early-Spring, and everyone has been able to focus more on rowing.”
One of the largest clubs in the country, the SCRC has approximately 40 coaches who run their high school competitive programs, 25 coaches who run their club competitive programs, plus several more who coach their recreational leagues and junior development programs. The vast majority of their coaches coach different programs throughout the year and span the different seasons of rowing starting with high school in the Spring to head racing in the Fall. With such a large team of coaches, Thompson believes it’s important that they are all on the same page when they are coaching one of the club’s various programs and thinks the modules, while tedious, are a good way to accomplish that.
“I’ve been a coach for 15 years and took the ECC courses myself,” said Thompson. “There were items in the modules that I was never officially taught through the older NCCP model. As a club, we thought it was important that all SCRC coaches have this training, so everyone understands what the expectations are when it comes to athlete interaction, safety, and basic coaching fundamentals. In my time here at the SCRC, there has been a great ongoing discussion regarding safe sport and what the expectations are when it comes to conduct on and off the water, I think it’s a great way to approach it.”
For more information on Row Ontario’s Coach Certification Policy, visit Coach Certification Requirements.