Coaching at all levels, including grassroots and holiday clinics, can be just as important as the work of elite mentors. Picture: David Nielsen
Coaching at all levels, including grassroots and holiday clinics, can be just as important as the work of elite mentors. Picture: David Nielsen

Thanks to all coaches doing a fantastic job

OPINION

 

THE naming of my top 35 coaches to have served Ipswich in the past three and a half decades was well received.

While it's impossible to get everyone in an order sports fans all agree upon, the general response was how pleasing it was to see so many great mentors in one special online series.

I have worked with most of the coaches featured and found them to be exceptional people.

They have achieved major regional, state, national and international success, showcasing the incredible talent and commitment bred in our great sporting city.

If you haven't seen the list and discovered why they are so rated, check it out at https://www.qt.com.au/news/ipswichs-leading-coaches-who-made-the-top-15/4028379/

The plan is provide more of these in-depth features available on the QT's digital-only platform at: www. qt.com.au

Chatting to people about the selections highlighted another important need.

That is to thank and acknowledge all coaches in every sport, no matter at what level.

Not everyone can coach at elite level or share in the joy of state, national and international glory.

However, we can all take on a coaching role, especially at grassroots level where it is essential, especially in these difficult times.

 

Ipswich Basketball Association official and state league coach Chris Riches. Picture: Franca Tigani.
Ipswich Basketball Association official and state league coach Chris Riches. Picture: Franca Tigani.

Ipswich Basketball Association official and Ipswich Force state league coach Chris Riches shared an accurate view on coaches after seeing well-credentialled colleagues Brad George and Terry Lindeberg on the elite list.

"They (other Ipswich coaches) may not be flashy and just don't win state championships or whatever but year after year, they turn up, they coach junior sport and they are the backbone of sport,'' Riches said.

"They don't cause you any dramas. They'll take the kids that are lesser in the sense of their skill and their ability, and they will work with those kids relentlessly to keep them in the sport and give them that opportunity.''

Well said Chris.

He should know being a teacher who is heavily involved in club and school programs.

"There are stalwarts like that across every sport - ones that just do it relentlessly all the time,'' Riches said. "And that's what you need.

"For us as an association, I know that Division 1 coaches are pretty easy to come by (and do a great job). . . but it's the ones that have to take the Division 2 and Division 3 and work with those kids really, really hard, they are the one we really struggle with sometimes.

"Some coaches are perpetual volunteers.''

Thank you to all those coaches and volunteers performing these important grassroots roles and providing participation as well as pathways to higher honours.