Based on input from GabriŽlle van Doorn, KNHB.
Under a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the Dutch Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sport (VWS) and its South African counterpart, the Dutch Royal Hockey Bond (KNHB) trained about one hundred South African hockey coaches between 1999 and 2005. This unprecedented project was launched by the KNHB with financial aid from the Dutch Ministry of VWS. The South African Hockey Association (SAHA) served as the local counterpart. Under the three-year agreement with SAHA, hockey coaches will be trained in South Africa to raise the sport to the next level. A SAHA staff member was recruited to get the project off the ground. This process of trial and error in the end proved quite successful. The KNHB is evaluating the effort.
The KNHB objective
The objective for this three-year project has been formulated as follows. Throughout this period, a trainers' course will be organized each year and taught at progressively advanced levels. The first year will begin with a broad base of coaches, and the third year will conclude with coaches who have the potential to coach or train a national team. Another project aim is to create hockey-coaching opportunities for potential and current trainers and coaches from the 'previously disadvantaged areas.'
As requested by SAHA, a course was taught in five districts and the same programme run in each district. In the past the districts tended to do as they pleased and offer their own version of the courses. The project proposal was therefore pyramid-based: progressively fewer courses (8-day courses in the 5 regions the 1st year, 8-day courses in 3 regions the 2nd year and one 8-day course in 1 region the 3rd year).
Between 1999 and 2005 about one hundred South African hockey coaches were trained.
Objective for local partner SAHA
In this three-year project, SAHA aims to organize courses for trainers at progressively more advanced levels, starting with a broad base of coaches and concluding with coaches that have the potential to coach or train a national team. In light of the limited number of hours that participants will be in contact with Dutch instructors (and the lack of a coaching structure within SAHA), the KNHB explained from the outset that 'creating' national coaches in 3 two-week sessions would be difficult, and that training the rank and file to promote recreational sports would be wise.
SAHA, however, was far more interested in professional sports and cared less about training basic coaches. The project proposal was therefore pyramid-based, offering progressively fewer courses (five the first year, three the second year and one course centre the third year), ultimately serving only the best of the group. Although the level did in fact advance each year, the number of course centres (5) remained unchanged to enable more coaches to participate.
Another project objective was to generate hockey coaching opportunities for potential and current trainers and coaches from the 'previously disadvantaged areas'. While this did indeed happen, the ultimate number of participants from these areas depended on the network of the local coordinator. In most centres the ratio of white - black / coloured was 50 - 50, although whites prevailed in Durban.