CBHA Coach Tour Week 1 Review
I am currently in the process of washing and drying 42 junior shirts in preparation for the second weeks development camp with coaches Gary Salvin and Dave Weloy and thought it was a good a time as any to post up a review of week 1. I some how feel I have drawn the short straw here!
Gary and Dave landed in the Islands on Saturday 19th August approximately 1 hour after Mari-ann (ED: who without the junior development programme would not have happened) jetted off to the UK. As you can imagine she was somewhat upset not to be in attendance to work and gain valuable experience from Gary and Dave.
Saturday involved getting settled into their digs kindly sponsored by the Falkland Islands Company and a meal in Shorty's Diner with a chance to briefly chat about the weeks ahead and what Gary and Dave are going to bring to the table whilst here. Wifi cards were purchased (something that Gary was going to be utilising large quantities of over the course of the stay!) and a quick chat back to home so they could let family know they were safe and sound and then it was time to drop them off for a chance to relax before the tour on Sunday.
Sunday 20th Aug
Tour day for Gary and Dave around Stanley and outskirts with Ian France and myself. This started with a light breakfast in FIC Crozier Place Cafe and a chance for Dave to grab a much needed coffee. The weather was being kind...ish, well there was no rain so that was a start! After Dave and myself going back to pick up some belongings from the cafe, we set off.
We wanted to ensure that Gary and Dave fully grasped what it was like to live in the Falkland Islands and to give them a brief insight into the history of the Falkland Islands so there was a mixture of old and new sites to be seen. Various sites included dipping toes in the ice cold South Atlantic Ocean near Cape Pembroke lighthouse, walking along Surf Bay, looking for Canada on the local totem pole, visiting the leisure centre to watch some skating hockey. A chance was also had to visit the local airport that caters for the light aircraft the Islander along with taking a walk up to the World War 1 guns on Canopus. War memorials were visited with a photo opportunity outside the 1982 Liberation Monument and a brief intro from Ian and Marcus as to the importance of Liberation Day on 14th June (a date Dave is not going to forget as this is his birthday!)
The day was finished off with Gary and Dave enjoying a home cooked meal of roast Upland Goose with all the trimmings with toothfish and swordfish chowder to start and a chance to meet our Child Protection Officer Priscilla Betts and her two sons.
Monday 21st - Friday 25th August
Junior development sessions were scheduled for 9:00am-12:00 for children aged 6-11 and would consist of Gary and Dave providing training and development on ball hall handling skills, stick skills, shooting, passing and working with goal tenders. Children were receptive, smiling and full of energy as they were put through their paces. There was a total of 43 children involved in the development programme so they were issued times and added into a group, however some were that keen that they stayed on for the whole 3 hours! Dave and Gary had truly created a buzz in the community with the local paper the Penguin News grabbing an opportunity to chat with them and take pictures of the training. The local TV station arrived as well as the radio station to get the necessary footage and coverage they desired.
Parents were especially pleased to see the development programme having been organised and the chance for their child to obtain professional training with two top ball hockey coaches. The registration desk was a hive of activity with information being passed out to parents and children and many a question answered. I am pretty sure the coaches had the easy part!
It was a joy to see the children adapting to the training and then utilising it in the exhibition games, the apple tree drill paying dividends! Without doubt the most impressive was the junior goaltenders who listened intently to the direction of Gary and worked hard to learn the skills of the butterfly technique. As a previous goalie it was pleasing to see the goalies starting from scratch to be making massive saves in the exhibition games.
Ian France and Kyran Evans helped out during coaching sessions and were watching Gary and Dave like hawks to gain any hints and tips and all the skills they would require to then impart their knowledge onto their junior players in the up and coming Junior Morrison Xtreme League.
Adult sessions were provided for our ball hockey players as they look to build a team for the ISBHF World Championships in 2019. It was pleasing to see adults taking to Gary and Dave's methods quickly and listening to all commands asked. Again stick skills, ball skills, goal tender training, positional play, offence and defence were developed with players learning new techniques that will help them to compete. As a potential coach myself it was interesting to watch and take in the methods and how they were put across. The Xtreme Scrimmage was a hit with the players and helped them understand the need for speed and line changes quickly and efficiently.
Videos were also taken of each player shooting by Dave with these videos to be taken away to Canada and dissected by Dave and Gary and to then be mirrored next to pro ball hockey players. The idea is to show each player how they can improve their shooting skills either via body shape, movement and stick technique. Coaching was going right into the finer details of the game and this just blew me away. These guys new their stuff and wanted to ensure the Falklands Team was well prepared for the Worlds.
Friday evening was taken up by enjoying a few drinks with the ball hockey players and to get a chance to meet the local population. Gary and Dave are enjoying somewhat of a celebrity status as parents of junior players would stop them for a photo and to just simply grab an opportunity to thank them for coming and providing the training.
Saturday 26th - Sunday 27th August
An opportunity was provided for Gary and Dave to take a much needed rest so were taken out to Darwin Lodge on East Falkland to relax, recharge batteries and to do some penguin hunting.....something that Dave's wife Tracey had set him as the main target before he left :) Thanks to the Ed's mother and husband, Dolly & Anton Livermore, for hosting and providing a bed for everybody and also to the owners of Stanley Services Ltd for allowing this opportunity. Gary and Dave couldn't get enough of the Falkland Islands Camp Life and automatically fell in love with the place. During their stay in the lodge tours were provided by the editor to see Gentoo Penguins (much to Dave's delight) the southern most suspension bridge, Bodie Creek Bridge, visit Goose Green and the many 1982 war memorials to honour the fallen British soldiers. Many a picture taken of wildlife and the enjoyment of a first off road trek were a highlight for the coaches along with the incredible food being provided by Anton, the chocolate fudge pudding going down a treat.
Sunday involved waking up to a full English breakfast as well as homemade yoghurt and whatever cereal you required. My kids especially enjoying the hard boiler egg and little soldiers :) Dave and Gary had eaten like Kings at Darwin Lodge I can tell you. A quick cup of tea after breakfast, purchase of some souvenirs and diddle dee jam, packing of bags and signing of the visit book it was then off to do the next tour being provided by the ed. This tour would involve driving back to Stanley via the 'round robin' trip of the north camp to enable the coaches to see more of the Falklands and get a chance to see some stunning scenery. The route passes through Ajax Bay or 'Bomb Alley' as it was known during the 82 conflict and gave the coaches an insight into the main landing area for the British Task Force.
Various stops were made along the way and a chance to enjoy the gorgeous sunny day which was hitting 12 degrees! Some further photos taken of settlement Teal Inlet as well as some 82 battle sites were had on the trip before the journey would end back at 5 Mink Park and a chance for emails to be checked and family to be contacted.
It was another chance to discuss ball hockey and the future for the Falkland Islands team, how it will be developed and what else the ISBHF and the CBHA could do to assist us. A quick discussion on the second week development camp was undertaken before they were dropped off back home to rest up for the busy schedule ahead.
So week 1 has ended with a bang and two very extremely happy coaches who have been treated to the very best the Falklands has to offer. We are all looking forward to the second week especially the coaching seminars to be undertaken on Wednesday and Thursday evening before the Farewell party for Dave and Gary on Friday 1st Sept.
Massive thank you to the Shackleton Scholarship Quality of Life application, Falkland Islands Company and Falklands Xtreme Adventures for making this development camp possible.
Me well bask in the glory of a Liverpool hammering over Arsenal and continue with blogs, video updates (check out our YouTube channel) and well finish off the washing and drying.......the work of the registration section never ends!