by Lindsey Bell
The RYA’s investment into coaching expertise has received a boost this month with the appointment of a new Coaching Development Manager, and the launch of an exciting new initiative aimed at developing elite level coaches.
David Mellor came on board as the RYA Coaching Development Manager on 28 February, bringing with him a wealth of experience of the RYA Racing programmes as both a sailor and a coach, spanning all levels of performance.
Most recently, Mellor has been working in the education sector where he was the Head of Teaching, Learning and Improvement at Exeter College. His extensive experience of top level Olympic class sailing, coaching and teaching provide the ideal mix of skills to take on the professional development needs of coaches at all levels of RYA Racing activity.
A key focus of Mellor’s new role is the development and launch of the RYA Podium Coach Programme – a brand new scheme focussed on optimising athletic success by raising the standard of World Class Coaching.
The Podium Coach Programme, supported by UK Sport, is billed as a cutting edge, two-year journey to developing personal coaching expertise at the highest level, and will see investment of approximately £15,000 worth of personal development opportunities per participant.
Successful applicants, of which there will be 6-8 selected per year with the potential to include candidates from elite sport outside of sailing, will receive a personalised development programme tailored to their individual needs and designed to fit around their current work programmes.
The programme will call on best practice, industry expertise and make use of high performance venues from outside of the sailing world, with the potential to include the Manchester Velodrome, McLaren, Royal Marines and Google HQ.
'I’ve learned a great deal whilst working in the education sector, and I’m looking forward to combining this with my sailing and coaching expertise to lead the RYA’s coaching development programmes,' said Mellor.
'I’m particularly excited about the new RYA Podium Coach Programme, which will help take elite coaching to the next level within our sport. It’s about taking our good coaches and really making them great, and emphasises the value that the RYA is placing on coaching as a professional career choice.'
RYA Performance Director and Racing Manager John Derbyshire said: 'David is a great addition to the RYA Racing department and has hit the ground running in his new role, having spent his first week at Weymouth and Portland working at the coalface with coaches and sailors at a Skandia Team GBR squad camp.
'It’s vital that coaches, whether they be at junior or elite level, continue to develop and adapt just as the sport does, and the RYA’s coaching education programmes play a key part in ensuring our coaches are best placed to meet those challenges.
'The Podium Coach Programme is the pinnacle of our education programme for coaches, whether a world class youth coach or coaching a potential 2012 medallist, and shows the RYA is willing to invest in a career pathway for coaches who are committed to improving themselves and British sailing’s medal-winning prospects.'
For more information on the Podium Coach Programme, details of the criteria for selection, and the application process: Click here
Applications must be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org by 31 March 2011.