Primary objectives of the Club Development Plan are to encourage members to develop personal skills and to support coaching and leadership development. The Coaching Group has made the following recommendations for how the Club should fund coach development and these have been adopted and are now in operation.
1. Coaches, trainee coaches and aspirant leaders wishing to develop their skills should, in the first place, seek out local and national funding support (e.g. from High Life Highland and SportScotland).
The Club recognises that, aside from formal costs, trainees put time, money and effort into building their skills and attending formal training events. External grant funding tends to cover training but not assessment and not accommodation. The Club supports coaches, trainee coaches and aspirant leaders by creating training opportunities and providing members to be coached in the training sessions. We also make Club boats available for trainees and run a First Aid course, which is a prerequisite for coaching or leadership.
2. The Club will try to assist members on the coaching/leadership journey by making financial awards to members to help cover the direct costs of training and assessment where these costs cannot be met from other sources.
The Committee will decide on the level of award according to each case but will seek to take a consistent approach. We will base our decision on the costs involved and the other support available, but do not propose to look at individual members’ personal circumstances – that would quickly become very difficult and very intrusive. We also need to reflect the overall demand for funding at the time and whether this is affordable. Awards will be based on a confirmed level of previous voluntary coaching by the applicants which has benefited Club members. The Committee may ask to see personal logs as evidence. We also expect a commitment to continue to coach for the Club in a voluntary capacity. In the case of new coaches and aspirant leaders, we will ask for this future commitment but may also consider other evidence, including support for Club activities. We may need to revise this policy to reflect coaching priorities and of course – if demand is unaffordably high – we might need to scale back the level of award.
Some members have recently undertaken training or assessment and will have missed out on this new policy. We are very sorry about this but we cannot apply the policy retrospectively. We still don’t provide financial support for skills courses (1–3 star). The Club will continue to run skills (star) and safety courses which we try to offer at a very reasonable cost. We will consider repeating the subsidised first aid course from time to time: this increases safety at all Club events. We will also publicise courses by other providers, and will seek to secure a discount for Club members.
What does the policy mean in practice for potential applicants? As an example, we supported the recent level 1 foundation safety and rescue course, for which no grant support is available. For those undertaking Level 2 training we will consider covering any funding gap for assessment fees as these aren’t currently grant aided. We might also make a grant towards the costs of 4-star leadership and assessment. The SCA runs a number of coaching and leadership courses at very reasonable rates for SCA members aimed at Clubs like ours, and we encourage members to take a look at these.