Sooke Minor Fastball Association hosted one of the largest softball coaching clinics ever held in B.C., with 37 coaches from the Island and Lower Mainland attending the two-day workshop in December.
Ten Sooke softball coaches participated in the national coaching certificate program that’s a requisite to guide teams through league and tournament play.
Seed money for the weekend came from a summertime fundraiser put on by SMFA and Sooke Senior Men’s Fastball teams in the memory of longtime SMFA coach Rod Nyberg.
After help from Laurie Szadkowski with selecting the indoor location at Journey Middle School, Softball B.C. senior course facilitator Bryan Sask noted the weekend was “one of the best clinics in my 16 years as a facilitator.”
“It is reassuring to see our coaches getting access to very high-level coach training in the early stages of their volunteer careers at SMFA,” said president Chris Bryant.
“This experience is the greatest gift they can give our park and our kids. From this education comes the level of competency needed to deliver successful outcomes for kids’ teams. Girls and boys of all ages, of all skill and athletic levels need to have coaches that bring out the best of that child’s unique ability.”
Local coaches Kevin Berger, Trevor Davidson, Wayne Melville and John Nielsen-Rhoads got into the coaching stream this year after helping their kids with seasons in the U14 and U16 levels, while coaches Justin Wilson, Scott Cameron, Adam Beaumont and Tanya Phillips took the challenge to achieve their competition level while coaching at developmental levels (U12 and younger).
Mike Stone and Jamie Pincombe get to complete the second half of their training in the very near future.
As a way to incubate its coaching staff, SMFA reimburses its coaches for coaching fees and has committed to offer a free non-certification introduction morning session in Sooke this spring for parents interested in becoming involved with their child’s minor softball experience.
“I am beyond proud of our coaches for giving up two full days at this time of the year. It speaks volumes for the ambitious schedule that they and their fellow SMFA coaches are planning for the upcoming season, starting with winter training and pitching lessons in the gym,” said Bryant.
Registration for the season begins in January and February. For more information, please go online to sookefastball.com, or check out the Sooke Minor Fastball page on Facebook.