Cougars coach helps spread the game in Namibia
Ash Greaves from Skipton, North Yorkshire has recently been busy helping to build on sporting opportunities in Africa after he was selected for UK Sports I.D.E.A.L.S (International Development Through Excellence and Leadership in Sport) programme in Namibia.
Ash who is a coaching volunteer for Keighley Cougars intended to take his knowledge of Rugby League and attempt to create some opportunity while out on placement. Working in the city of Windhoek he helped to create playing and coaching opportunities for children with intellectual disabilities.
In offering Rugby League while out in Namibia, Ash’s efforts helped to build on the sports programme that was in place at the organisation he was working with, namely Special Olympics Namibia (S.O.N.).
The organisation focuses on delivering and developing sports opportunities for individuals with intellectual disabilities, and in offering new sports such as Rugby League and Gaelic Football, Ash and his colleague Aoife Byrne have helped to increase the number of sporting opportunities available.
In an attempt to make his efforts sustainable, Greaves also held volunteer training for those who help at S.O.N. running both practical and theory elements to educate the volunteers in Rugby League coaching skills and activities that they can use.
Resource packs for coaching material was created before leaving and these were also given to the volunteers with a view to the volunteers coaching Rugby League through a programme rather than just sessions.
Ash Greaves said: “In offering coaching packs to both the volunteers and SON, we are helping to leave behind a legacy for the volunteers and organisation to follow.
“We are also helping to improve the quality of coaching and offering new ideas for sporting activities, we are also helping to improve and increase the opportunity of sport for individuals with learning disabilities.”
As well as volunteer training, Youth Leadership Development courses were run in an attempt to attract the elder children at school to continue their efforts with SON after they leave school.
The experience helped in bettering his coaching skills but more importantly sports development understanding as this relates to the course Greaves studies at Liverpool John Moores University.
Greaves, who coaches at the Cougars has been helping with activities and explains that children can learn an awful lot from the sport of Rugby League both socially and physically.