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Coaches connected at conference

Wednesday, 14 December 2016 10:09am

The recent Connecting Coaches conferences held at the University showcased Dunedin’s sport technology sector.

The St David Lecture theatre was home to the annual Connecting Coaches conference recently, a collaboration between the Otago Academy of Sport and Sport New Zealand.

More than 200 people attended the two-day conference, which featured a comprehensive programme to teach, improve and inspire coaches and team leaders from around New Zealand.

Featured speakers included Rob Waddell, the Chef de Mission of the 2014 Commonwealth Games team and 2016 Rio Olympic Games team, who gave a talk on “Translating the lessons from High Performance Sport.” Silver Ferns coach Janine Southby shared her experience of striving for excellence in her personal and professional development in the competitive Silver Ferns environment, and NZ Warriors Recruitment and Development Manager Tony Iro spoke about trusting instincts on and off the playing field.

Otago Academy of Sport board member, Associate Professor Tania Cassidy of the University of Otago School of Physical Education, Sport and Exercise Sciences said that the conference also “showcased Dunedin’s sport technology sector” and that the University of Otago’s St David Lecture Theatre was the perfect venue for the conference with ease of access and plenty for space for the learning challenge tutorials held between speeches.

CEO of the Otago Academy of Sport Michael Coutts called the conference “a huge success” and noted the “fantastic opportunity for elite and grass-roots coaches to think about coaching from different perspectives and collaborate with coaches from different sports.”

The University of Otago generously provided five scholarships to assist coaches to attend the Connecting Coaches conference, and the Otago Community Trust generously offered 25 scholarships to assist rural coaches who would otherwise struggle to access such an opportunity.

Information about concussion and risk management from ACC Sportsmart and a presentation on the 21st century transition into sports technology rounded out a successful conference that Professor Tania Cassidy says she is looking forward to holding again in two years.

A photo gallery and more details of the Connecting Coaches conference can be found at