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viaSport Coaches Retreat marks the first step toward building a stronger regional coach training network in B.C.

Earlier this month, viaSport’s coaching team hosted 17 staff from the PacificSport Centres (Fraser Valley, Interior, Northern B.C., Okanagan, Vancouver Island), Pacific Institute of Sport Excellence (Victoria) and selected representatives from the Kootenays in a weekend-long Learning Facilitator Coaching retreat. This retreat is the first step toward building a stronger network of trained National Coaching Certification Program (NCCP) Learning Facilitators across the province, to ensure that equal coach training opportunities are accessible to all coaches, no matter where they live in British Columbia.

Over the course of three days, the group came together at the Sandman Signature Hotel in Richmond, B.C. to share stories, best practices and attend Core Learning Facilitator training—the first step in the Coach Developer Pathway to be able to teach essential NCCP courses.

“The Regional Centres are viaSport’s key delivery agents of NCCP courses so it was important to bring them together to create a real network for information sharing,” said Heather Beatty, viaSport coaching and sport coordinator. “viaSport organized and funded this event because we think it’s important to bring our partners together and provide them with the necessary training to progress through their coaching pathway. If we are able to increase the number of learning facilitators in our province, we’ll be able to train and develop a greater number of coaches.”

Photo of the retreat participants in BC Place

In addition to the training, the group was also taken on a surprise tour of the BC Sports Hall of Fame and BC Place. One of the highlights of the retreat included having the chance to kick the soccer ball around on the field—the same field that Vancouver’s own Whitecaps FC compete on.

As assigned provincial coaching representative for coach education and training in British Columbia, viaSport - along with the viaSport Coaching Advisory Group - have been working with the national representative, Coaching Association of Canada, to ensure there are Learning Facilitators trained in all regions of B.C. including the more remote communities in the North, Interior and Vancouver Island.

“Learning Facilitator training has showcased the strong, motivated NCCP network that is being created across British Columbia,” said Kim Bennett from PacificSport Northern BC. “Our province will have access to the most enthusiastic and connected team of Learning Facilitators, who will spread quality coach education throughout all of our communities.”

To learn more about the National Coaching Certification Program and how to become a Learning Facilitator, visit the viaSport coaches webpage or contact coaches@viasport.ca