Over 100 high performance coaches from all over the Commonwealth and indeed the world came together in Gold Coast for an intense 5-day programme of keynotes and workshops imparted by some of the biggest coaching names on the planet during the 2018 Games. These included, among others, former World Cup Winner All Black Head Coach Sir Graham Henry, former coach to Ian Thorpe, Tracey Menzies, two-time Olympic Gold Medal winning hockey coach, Dr Ric Charlesworth, and Hockeyroo legendary player, Alyson Annan, who now as a coach led the Dutch Women’s National Team to a Silver Medal at the Rio Olympics.
Global Coaches House is an ICCE initiative that aims to provide a common sharing and learning space for high performance coaches at major multi-sport events. During the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games, Global Coaches House was organised in conjunction with the Australian Institute of Sport, the Commonwealth Games Federation, and Griffith University who all collaborated to create a tremendous programme of activities in a remarkable venue.
The House focused on different themes every day:
- Day 1: The Coach as a Learner
- Day 2: Coach and Athlete Resilience
- Day 3: Leadership and Games Coaching
- Day 4: Coaching Science and Women in Leadership
- Day 5: Made in Australia
A central topic of great importance to all partners, Gender Equality, cut across all themes. Pauline Harrison, ICCE’s lead on Women in Coaching chaired two different panels, one including very successful female coaches like Tracey Menzies (Swimming), Peggy Liddick (Gymnastics) and Ellen Randell (Rowing), and a second one containing influential women in leadership positions like Kate Palmer (CEO of Australian Sport Commission), Dame Katherine Granger (Chair of UK Sport), Kereyn Smith (CEO New Zealand Olympic Committee) and Fiona De Jong (former CEO of Australian Olympic Committee). Pauline said:
"The ICCE has included the theme of ‘Women in Coaching’ in Global Coaches Houses since London 2012 and on the Gold Coast the topic was embedded into the programme. This focus supported the collective mission of the Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF), the Gold Coast 2018 Organising Corporation (GOLDOC) and its international sporting stakeholders to ensure that the Games are the most gender-equal multi-sports event ever seen. At the GCH females represented 50% of the key note speakers, and the inclusion of 2 separate Women’s Coaching Programmes (one run by the CGF and the other by the Australian Institute of Sport) ensured that the audience was an equal mix of male and female coaches. A great achievement and a new benchmark set for other ICCE programmes!".
Global Coaches House 2018 was also blessed with a visit from Commonwealth Games Federation President Louise Martin who celebrated “the significant number of women coaches in the room” and encouraged all “to share and learn from each other in this great setting”.
Below are some pearls of wisdom offered by the speakers:
“It was only after my negative experience with Wales and the Lions that I realised I wasn’t good enough. Only started learning when I faced adversity. I realised that I couldn’t help my players or make a difference, so I resigned. At that time, I was the best paid Rugby coach in the world. It was the best decision I ever made” Sir Graham Henry, former All Black Head Coach
“The coach you are and the coach you want to be are two different people; make time to become the coach you want to be” Alyson Annan, Women’s Hockey National Team Coach Netherlands
“Human beings are designed to experience stress. Without stress growth is not possible” Professor Christian Cook
“High performance is not about doing your best, but about doing what’s necessary” John Atkinson, Canadian Swimming
“Ask yourself this question: what might seem impossible and unlikely but would make a big difference if we did it?” Dr Ric Charlesworth, Former Hockeyroos and Kookaburras Head Coach