Squash coaches in Victoria and beyond will be excited to hear of a planned digital coaching hub, expected to be launched by Squash and Racquetball Victoria next year.
The hub, which will be known as the Coaching Community of Practice, is projected to increase coordination and reinvigorate squash coaching in the south-eastern Australian state, though the brains behind the plan, State Coaching Director Karen Cagliarini, predicts that the benefits could be felt by the entire squash world.
Cagliarini – who has 30 years’ coaching experience and has held a number of prominent coaching positions, including: National Coach, Head Coach of Victorian Institute of Sport Squash Program, and Squash Australia Tutor and Assessor – explains that, while Victorian Squash once had a close-knit and thriving coaching community, in recent years the number of coaches has diminished, as has the level of cooperation between those who have remained.
To address this, she says: “My top priority project is to establish a Coaching Community of Practice to provide coach education training, quality curated content, and facilitate collaboration and support for coaches to progress within our coach development pathway.”
The Coaching Community of Practice will be a web-based platform and will provide a number of resources to coaches of all levels.
This is set to include numerous educational resources; a coaches’ discussion forum to facilitate the open exchange of ideas and methodologies; live video chats, feedback and mentoring sessions with expert guest speakers; and a comprehensive coaching resource library.
Sarah Fitz-Gerald, WSF Vice President and Chair of the Coaching Commission, said: “Squash and Racquetball Victoria’s brilliant initiative will no doubt make a huge contribution to the betterment of squash coaches, players, and the game in general.
“For countless coaches, from those at the beginning of their journey to the elite level this resource will help them continuously develop. I am optimistic that by encouraging coaches to help one another and share knowledge, we will see that our sport continues to grow and thrive.
Cagliarini, meanwhile, added: “Although the project is still in its infancy, it’s so exciting! The potential to have a one-stop shop for coaches to improve their knowledge, connect with peers and ‘share the love’ can only move coaching forward.
“In fact, a platform like this doesn’t have to be limited to coaches in my state. There is no reason why it can’t be open to coaches across the nation or around the world. Imagine a globally connected coaching network. Wow, I can’t wait!”
Currently slated for launch in mid-2022, the Coaching Community of Practice is expected to initially be rolled out in a limited form to a small group of coaches, before updates and improvements are made.
Keep up with the latest developments from Squash and Racquetball Victoria’s coaching initiatives here.