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CONTRIBUTION · 20th September 2010
M. of Healthy Living & Sport
This year, the Province will provide more than $2 million in funding for coaching programs in B.C., Minister of Healthy Living and Sport Ida Chong announced today.

The announcement was made at a Coaches Association of BC (CABC) event to mark the beginning of BC Coaches Week, Sept. 18-25.

"Coaches are the foundation of our sport system - from the community level through to the international high performance level," said Chong. "Ask any athlete who has excelled in their sport and they will attribute much of their success to their coaches. This funding will ensure coaches across B.C. will have easy access to the training and development opportunities they need to become the best at what they do."

The funding will help train more community coaches for our children and youth, target programming to Aboriginal communities so that B.C. has more Aboriginal coaches and mentors, support our high-performance regional coaches and provincial coaches and provide development opportunities for B.C.'s best coaches through the National Coaching Institute.

In addition to these investments, a new online coaching tool will be launched later this fall to make it easier and less expensive for community coaches to get their certification. This tool was developed in partnership with the CABC, the National Coaching Institute, 2010 Legacies Now and the Canadian Sport Centre Pacific.

B.C. is an expansive province. Instead of waiting weeks, months or years for evaluators to reach a community or incurring the costs of community coaches travelling to urban centres, this new online resource will allow coaches from every corner of B.C. to be evaluated on their timetable, at minimal cost. The tool will also enable ongoing mentorship between coaches and evaluators, giving coaches the support they need for development.

"The Province recognizes that most coaches are volunteers and need resources that make it easier for them to volunteer," added Chong. "This important investment augments one-time government funding that was provided in 2009-10 to help sports increase the number of evaluators they have."

This investment will be put to the test with sports that are ready to launch, including Gymnastics BC.

"Gymnastics BC is thrilled to be a pilot sport for this new online coaches' evaluation tool," said CEO Moira Gookstetter. "As a sport organization that has been noted for its extensive foundations certification program, an accessible, convenient and easy evaluation process for new coaches will result in more coaches completing the certification process regardless of their schedule or geographical location.

"Whether in Terrace, Kimberly, Nanaimo or the Lower Mainland, this innovative tool will allow coaches to upload their assignments at their convenience ensuring that every coach has the same evaluation experience."

With the continual recruitment of new coaches, this online tool will eliminate the barriers to completing certification that would have existed by using old-school methods. On top of government's $2-million direct investment in coaches, the Province will continue to support programming that helps communities train, develop, and support B.C. coaches - such as the Sport Participation Bilateral Program and the Team BC Program.