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Cambridge coaches from city's leading clubs to collaborate to share knowledge and experience

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Elite coaches in Cambridge are to collaborate on an informal basis
Elite coaches in Cambridge are to collaborate on an informal basis

Cambridge’s elite sports clubs could be set to benefit from each other’s knowledge and experience.

A concept has been launched which will seek to bring together the lead coaches from a number of different disciplines to share ideas and thoughts.

Representatives of Cambridge United, Cambridge Rugby Club, Cambridge University Boat Club, Cambridge & Coleridge Athletics Club, Cambridge City Hockey Club and Cambridge University RUFC have all expressed an interest in the initiative.

The first of the informal meetings was held during the recent off-period for many sports, with the overall aim to learn from each other and enhance networks and relationships.

“It’s still in its infancy but what we’re going to try to do is set up three or four meetings throughout the season – one being at Cambridge United, one at the rugby club, one at the university,” said Cambridge director of rugby Richie Williams.

“It’s informal but a good opportunity to share some ideas across sports with coaches that are pretty open-minded with what they are doing within their environments.

“You can start to pick up on ideas and how you can maybe bring them into your environment.

“I think every coach is quite curious about what we’re doing in our sport, and vice versa.

“I think it will be really useful to just collaborate some different ideas. I think it’s really good for Cambridge as a whole to have those conversations with people from different sports.”

Elite coaches in Cambridge are to collaborate on an informal basis
Elite coaches in Cambridge are to collaborate on an informal basis

Cambridge United head coach Mark Bonner, who organised the first online meeting, explained that the idea was to share best practice and experiences of the city’s coaching talent.

“Despite every sport being different and having its own unique calendar, training regimes and challenges, there are lots of things that are crossed over in sport,” he said.

“You are dealing with people, you are dealing with trying to develop teams, or leaders or individuals, maximising potential, creating challenges, motivation.

“They are challenges of coaching in general. I think sometimes football is very good at providing support to coaches, professional development and courses available through the governing bodies is great.

“But on our doorstep, we have probably got a free resource, all we all have to do is give it some time and effort, and we can probably benefit each other and in turn therefore benefit our teams and clubs.”

He added: “There are many [high-quality coaches in the city] and this will grow hopefully, but as a starting point we’ve got a group of people in a room together that are talented and experienced, and can probably challenge each other.”

Cambridge University Boat Club head coach Rob Baker said: “There are some interesting team work and leadership learnings we can all make, to see how teams run and how people take responsibility is a key area I am interested in.

“All sports have different roles and ways of going about high performance behaviour and I’m sure that will spark new ideas about how we run our teams. Furthermore I am curious to see what we might find out, I don’t have too much specific expectation and that’s the point, I’d like to come at this with quite a blank canvas and see what might happen.

“Curiosity is a key piece I believe to good coaching, staying still is going backwards in any sport so I want to be open and look at it with a fresh pair of eyes. I think there is also some interesting collaboration we can make with the teams, whether its the football team doing some ergos with us or us at the football ground, etc.”

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