National Team Coaching Apprenticeship Program (2003-2005)
The learning to date is expected to help improve the current version of WiCAP the National Team Apprenticeship Program (NTCAP), a two-year program that began in the summer of 2003 with the announcement of 12 successful coach applicants. The new apprentice coaches bring strong coaching experiences and high expectations to NTCAP. They are ready for an intensive, two-year program that has the same basic elements as the first two programs but has been improved with experience. All have assigned mentor coaches and learning plans that will help guide their efforts in gaining experience critical to their development as national team level coaches, and all will attend two leadership seminars.
It is worth noting that the seminars have been one of the consistent elements of WiCAP. The seminars have always been highly valued by the apprentice coaches, not just for the content, but also for the opportunity to connect with each other. Without fail, each program has fostered a strong, supportive, enduring network among the apprentice coaches, who recognize similarities of goals and ambitions and whose coaching experiences resonate with each other.
In addition to the NSFs, Sport Canada and CAC are important partners with specific roles.
Sport Canada provides financial assistance through New Funding for Sport to offset the program costs and program consultation. It also participates in ongoing and program-end evaluations.
The CAC provides financial assistance to offset program costs, assists in identifying and selecting the apprentice coaches and mentor coaches, follows up with apprentice coaches throughout their terms, supervises the apprentice coaches, communicates with the partners, promotes the program through the CAC Web site and Coaches Report, provides technical expertise in program design, communicates with the Canadian Olympic Committee and other major Games organizations as required, and participates in ongoing and program-end evaluations.
WiCAP has an impressive list of graduates who continue to coach in a variety of capacities. This unique and much-envied program has attracted the notice of Australia, Norway, England, and New Zealand, all of which are also searching for ways to increase the number of national team coaches. For reasons chronicled in many issues of the Journal, women coaches face significant challenges in entering and staying within the realm of a country's top coaches. Through its three phases, WiCAP attempts to address some of those challenges, including gaining exposure among the top coaches in their sport, building a network of support in their sport and among other women coaches, and creating focused activities to accelerate their development as coaches.
For more information on the WiCAP graduates, visit the Women in Coaching Web site at www.coach.ca/eng/womenapprenticeship/.
WiCAP fits well in the sport environment being shaped by the Canadian Sport Policy. It responds to the need for strategies to address the barriers faced by women coaches in becoming a more visible face in sport. It addresses the need to increase the professionalization of coaches. And it requires the communication and collaboration of key partners.
The lessons of WiCAP have been applied to the unique program offered during the Jeux de la Francophonie (see Journal, September 2001, Vol. 2, No. 1) and may yet be developed into a program targeted for Canada Games coaches. But for now, it continues to be a significant force in developing a new generation of women coaches, ready to take their place in the ranks of Canada's national coaches.
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Publisher: Anna Mees , Program Manager, Women in Coaching, Coaching Association of Canada
Editor: Sheila Robertson
Copy Editor: Heather Ebbs
Translator: MATRA gs Inc.
© 2003 Coaching Association of