Thursday, July 19, 2012

Equine Canada Launches New High Performance Coach Certification Program - More Certification Opportunities for Canada’s Coaches

July 19, 2012 Ottawa, Canada– An exciting new coaching certification program is now available for equestrian coaches in Canada.  The High Performance Coach program is designed for those working with riders looking to succeed at the national championship level or toward Junior/Young Rider FEI or similar international level competition.  Certification is available for Dressage, Eventing, Jump and Reining candidates.
Newly minted High Performance coaches Wendy Nelson (Reining) with rider Janice Hepburn, and Wendy Christoff (Dressage) with riders Lauren McLeod and Esmee Ingham.

The Equine Canada/National Coaching Certification Program (NCCP) High Performance Certification Coach program replaces the former Level 3 equestrian coaching designation and is both more advanced and more accessible than Level 3. Coaches no longer have to work their way up through coaching levels:  coaches who meet the application criteria are invited to apply whether they have been certified in the past or not.  While it is a pre-requisite for applicants to document their personal athletic performance in their discipline, riding is no longer a component of the evaluation process. 

“Aligning the new program with the current NCCP multi-sport focus which is based on coaching competency, opens the door for many candidates who are successfully coaching but may not currently be competing,” explains EC Coaching Manager Heather Sansom.   “The program is much more accessible to coaches who have the experience but may no longer be high performance competitors themselves, whether due to injury, lack of appropriate horses, busy coaching schedules or other reasons.

The new program also offers training modules which are open to any interested attendee and not just candidates hoping to certify.  Topics include: sport medications guidelines (equine); biomechanics; injury prevention; training program planning; human athlete conditioning and injury prevention; and insurance and feed for high performance horses.  Several of the available courses are already running successfully, notably the Equine Clean Sport module which covers medication guidelines for horses in competition and related issues of interest to any coach, participant or official.  Training courses in the new NCCP are not mandatory, but the courses are strongly encouraged for candidates prior to evaluation. 

“As industry and Equine Canada coaches we can now utilize the more advanced training program and testing Equine Canada offers, and proceed to being recognized for all our hard work as trainers, coaches, showpeople and mentors to achieve our High Performance Certification,” reports Wendy Nelson, High Performance Coach and High Performance Master Evaluator, Reining.   

“The new program features enhanced educational resources and modules, making the program highly credible and attractive,” she continues. “Having this certification improves our coaching opportunities as well as making it possible to take advantage of lower insurance costs.”  

“This is a logical and detailed program which is very user friendly,” explains Wendy Christoff, Chair Equine Canada Dressage Coaching Committee, High Performance Coach, Dressage.  “Candidates are evaluated on their coaching competency in real situations. The outcomes are structured so that each candidate can access the evaluations according to personal schedules.  This accessibility should bring about a renewed interest in the higher levels of coaching certification for Dressage.”  

To be eligible for certification, candidates must:

• Have competition, coaching and training experience described in the High Performance
Coach  Application Packages:    
• Be at least 22 years of age as of January 1 of the current year
• Hold an Equine Canada Sport License (membership) and provincial/territorial equestrian federation membership, in good standing  

Acquiring certification requires the following steps:

• Submission of sample lesson and yearly training plans
• Participating in a single-evaluation day with two evaluators where you are evaluated on coaching skills while giving lessons 
• Evaluation of your coaching skills during competition 

“I am really proud of the Equine Canada Coaching Committees that pulled together to create this program.  We have created a great opportunity for the athletes and the coaches that coach them,” states Grant Field, National Coaching Committee Chair, Jump Course Designer, Level 3 Coach and High Performance Jump Evaluator.

Level 4 Coach, former coach of the Canadian Eventing Team and three-time Olympic Games competitor and High Performance Coaching Master Evaluator Peter Gray, adds:  “I am thrilled with our new ability to accept applications for the many coaches waiting to get accredited.  New components in the evaluations are fantastic and genuinely reflect real-time coaching.” 

Complete details on the High Performance Coach Certification program can be found on the Equine Canada web site under Coaching – How to Become Certified.

For more information, please contact:
Julie Cull, EC Media Relations at 613 248-3433, x 136/
Heather Sansom, EC Manager of Coaching, 613 248-3433, x 115/

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