This article was published on FIH.ch originally
Increasing the number of teachers and coaches who can deliver high quality hockey training to children within both the school and club setting is at the heart of South Africa Hockey Association’s (SAHA) re-imagined coaching framework.
Primary school teachers, junior club coaches, sport and physical education students, aspiring sports coaches and youth sports volunteers are all being offered the chance to increase their knowledge and skills so they can become part of a country-wide hockey workforce.
Accessibility is always an issue in a country as vast as South Africa, so the SAHA has embraced the digital revolution and will be delivering a total of 30 online courses, for coaches and technical officials, that will be accessible across all nine provinces. There will be no need for the coaches – many of them from poor communities - to undertake time-consuming and costly journeys to one central coaching hub.
Robyn Morgan is chairperson of the SAHA Education Sub-Committee and she says: “To ensure a diversity of coaches benefit from across the entire country we are targeting 2,000 primary schools. For schools in a more rural environment we will run the courses privately for their school alone so the teachers can all gather at school where there is access to WIFI in order to participate in the course.”
The coaching courses offered by the SAHA’s coaching framework will focus on giving the aspiring coaches the knowledge and experience to teach children the basic skills of the game.
The first courses being offered are Level 0 and 1. At Level 0, this includes the basic skills of the game, the methodology of coaching beginners, the physiology and psychology of young learners and how to play modified games. Behind the drive to educate the teachers in hockey skills is to ensure hockey is an integral part of the national primary school physical education curriculum. Ups killing teachers in this way will help primary school teachers to become confident and adept at delivering the sport in a safe and progressive manner.
There is also a clear pathway for progression. This starts with coaching fundamental skills to young children right through to coaching the senior international teams. The coaching qualifications offered by SAHA progress and then intersect neatly with the FIH High Performance Coaching pathway.
Delivering the online courses will be a host of SAHA Accredited Educators. Morgan explains that besides that team of Educators, there will be a further group of coach facilitators who are currently undergoing an Educator training (refresher) course. SAHA is offering a similar training course to Educators from across the Africa Hockey Federation.
She says, while most people will fund themselves through the courses, there are some courses that are done as part of the National Capacity Building Program, which are covered by SAHA. The first of the online courses started in mid-June and the entire programme will be rolled out over the coming months. With a maximum of 15 people on each course, the South African hockey coaching fraternity will be swelling significantly.
“Our aim,” says Morgan, “is to get all teachers and coaches within a primary school environment properly trained up and equipped to coach the correct fundamental skills of hockey. By doing this creating a stronger base from where to work going forward.”
The South African Hockey Association today confirms its submission to the Ministry and the Department of Sports, Arts and Culture. Minister Nathi Mthethwa on 11 June announced the provisions of Government Gazette 43434 that would regulate the return to play for National Federations. These regulations have determined that return to play will be done in a phased approach for non-contact and contact sport at the various alert levels as per South Africa’s Risk Adjusted Strategy.
Hockey is classified as a contact sport and as per the regulations is only permitted to return to training at this stage under Level 3. This return to training must be done in a phased manner and under strict health & safety protocols. SA hockey’s submission done last Friday to the Minister details the envisaged phased in return to training and focuses on the following:
- Phased return to training of national high-performance squads as well as provincial high-performance squads at Level 3.
- Identification of venues and their state of readiness
- The appointment of compliance officers nationally, provincially and at every training venue
- The finalisation of a Return to Play Framework and the Operational Guidelines thereto
The Operational Guidelines will be announced once approved by the Minister of Sports, Arts and Culture together with the relevant office of the National Institute of Communicable Diseases.
The hockey community is understandably very eager to return to play, we however request that all stakeholders respect and abide by the current legislation issued for the sport sector as wells as by the Minister of Basic Education in relation to school sport which is currently not permitted at Level 3.
SA Hockey will further advise all stakeholders once the pre-requisite approvals have been received for the current phased in return to training as well as any new regulations announced in relation to return to competition.
The past 3 months have been a trying time for all and a just generally a very negative time in our country. It is thus such great news to be able to share this positive story – The birth of the SAHA Academy – The new hub of Education within SA Hockey.
If there is anything that we have learnt from the past few months, it is that the SA Hockey Association as an organisation needs to radically adapt to a “new” normal, and with that in mind a much-needed overhaul of the education structures.
Coaching education in South Africa has been under review for some time, and there is a heap of work being done to raise the level and accessibility to coach education. Besides the simple need for a refreshed approach, the main aim is to ensure that the access to coaching education aligns with the country wide growth strategy for hockey.
SA Hockey Association Education sub-committee chairperson Robyn Morgan and Curriculum Development member Gary Dolley have been in constant communication with the FIH Academy for almost a year now. This process has been to consult on the content and delivery of the SAHA Coaching curriculum as well as the Integrated SAHA & FIH Pathway. Part of this process involved observing FIH online courses and workshops, to gain insight into how they are delivered.
Having the support and the official backing of the FIH Academy gives credibility to our education program, as it will enhance our operations and increase the quality of our coaching workforce. Quality coaches will improve the general standard of play across our player pathway.
We need to thank the FIH Academy for being so accommodating and willing to share knowledge and assist us on this journey.
This overhaul will happen in various phases with the first being the SAHA Level 0 Coaching Course, introduction of the ONLINE booking system and the retraining of course facilitators to meet the needs of course participants.
The 2nd phase will include the introduction of the ONLINE SAHA Level 1 Coaching Course and the SAHA Level 1 Technical Officials Course. Watch this space as things develop and grow.
The SAHA Level 0 Umpiring Course is already online and accessible via the Online Booking platform academy.sahockey.co.za
We launch the SAHA Academy today on Youth Day to promote the development of coaches within the Primary School setup with our inaugural online course being presented by Gary Dolley.
All the course information can be accessed via the SAHA Academy button on the SA Hockey home page www.sahockey.co.za or directly at academy.sahockey.co.za
The SA Hockey Academy has been endorsed by both University Sport South Africa (USSA) Hockey and SA Schools Hockey Association (SASHOC).
SA Hockey CEO Marissa Langeni shared her delight at the launch of the academy:
“COVID-19 has changed the playing field and I am incredibly proud that the SA Hockey Association has been able to adapt and launch the SAHA Academy. Now more than ever it is critical that we can help our coaches develop and grow on their education path and the SAHA Academy will play a massive role in achieving this. We would like to thank the FIH Academy for being so supportive on this journey.”
The South African Hockey Association has noted the directions as issued by the Honourable Minister of Sport, Arts and Culture Mr Nathi Mthethwa. These directions issued on Saturday 30 May 2020 are further to the Alert Level 3 Regulations as announced by the National Command Council on Thursday 28th May 2020 and thereafter gazetted.
The directions announced by the Sports Minister seek to clarify how sport will be permitted under Alert Level 3 which starts on 01 June 2020. As announced by the Minister these directions are currently in draft and will in due course be gazetted and published.
What we know so far from Saturday’s briefing:
- That professional or elite athletes involved in non-contact sport may resume matches.
- That professional or elite athletes of non-contact sport and contact sport such as Hockey will be permitted to train under strict conditions.
- These athletes are those that are in preparation for the Olympics, International Championships, National Qualifying Championships, Local Professional Leagues at Club, Provincial and National Level.
- These athletes and staff are to train under strict health conditions, which include but not limited to testing for COVID-19, daily screening and register kept, use of hand sanitisers, social distancing, a regularly sanitised venue & equipment as well as all touch points at the venue.
The directions further note that training cannot take place just yet even though Alert Level 3 starts on 01 June 2020. The Minister announced that once the regulations are gazetted that SA Hockey as a National Federation submits within 14 days, the intended date to resume training, the operational guidelines that will be followed as well as affidavits.
SAHA will await the Gazetted regulations and make the submissions as required. SAHA Members and owners of hockey facilities will be informed of the return to training protocols once directed and approved by the Minister.
It was with immense sadness that the South African Hockey Community have learnt of the passing of Andre “Bubbles” le Roux. Bubbles love for the game of hockey was immense and you will find it difficult to find a person who didn’t enjoy the company of a much-loved figure in our country.
Bubbles was involved in hockey since 1976 when he started his playing days at Milnerton Hockey Club and was a massive part of the SANDF Hockey, in playing, coaching and managing over the years. He is fondly remembered at Edgemead where he reinvigorated the program when he joined as coach in 2005, a school he remained involved with ever since.
Bubbles also was the team manager for SA U21 Men, multiple provincial teams and of course the SA Hockey Men in 2004 alongside Paul Revington as head coach.
“Bubbles was a dedicated servant of the game and an absolute professional. His love for hockey kept his life forever intertwined with the game throughout his life. On behalf of the South African Hockey Association we would like to send our condolences to the le Roux family, the Western Province hockey community and to the hockey family at large.” Marissa Langeni, CEO of South African Hockey Association.
Former National Coach – Paul Revington
It is with great sadness that I am writing this message having received the news on Monday evening of Bubbles’ sudden passing. Bubbles was a very good person to everyone he met. He was larger than life, always making people laugh and he balanced this with a very caring nature that made him easy to talk to on a personal level. I was lucky enough to meet Bubbles in 1992 when I did a year of military conscription in the SADF, which primarily involved playing hockey and cricket!
Bubbles did an amazing job organising a motley crew of makeshift “soldiers” including the likes of Murray Anderson, Roger Hickman, Craig Verdal-Austin and David Gibbon becoming a critical father figure to all of us (especially when it came to getting leave!). We shared wonderful memories together as a Team and I think the highlight for Bubbles was our SADF tournament in Potchefstroom where he played in goal. My bond with Bubbles grew as we entered a strong and trusting coach and Team manager partnership with the WP senior men and SA U21 men in the early 2000’s. Bubbles was rewarded for his efforts by being appointed as SA senior team Manager for a series in January 2004.
Every time I saw Bubbles around Hartleyvale we would laugh about memories such as his love for Kylie Minogue, his need for a foot massage after a long day and his tendency to eat the players jelly babies on game day! All the players felt his genuine love for them, and he played a critical role in creating harmony and trust within our teams. Bubbles then entered the world of provincial hockey administration and led WP Hockey as President for several years with great success. Nothing was ever too challenging for Bubbles and he was always prepared to listen and help coaches, players and administrators achieve their objectives whether at club, provincial or national level through his position of President of WP Hockey.
Through his early commitment to “serve” as a Warrant Officer in the SA Navy he backed this up through his immense service to the game of hockey and the community in general. Bubbles will be sorely missed. Hartleyvale will never be the same without Bubbles presence but his spirit will remain embedded forever. Our sincere condolences go out to Caryl-Ann, Raoul, Marcé and Gérard – thank you for sharing your Husband and Dad with all of us for so many years.
Western Province Hockey Vice President – Charlene Fourie
It was with much sadness that I heard of the passing of a dear and valued friend. We travelled a long road of hockey together, dating back to 1982.
Since I have known Bubbles, he was very passionate about hockey. He filled every sphere, being a player, coach, umpire, manager of our national team and committee member.
We spent many hours together running tournaments and he always managed to amuse us to no end with his jokes and anecdotes. He was an absolute perfectionist when it came to pronouncing the names correctly of any international players participating in matches when he was the announcer.
On the field he represented the Navy and Milnerton Hockey Club as a GK and was involved with coaching at Milnerton Hockey Club and Edgemead High School.
He was a representative on the MHC committee and eventually had the honourable position of being President of Western Province Hockey Union.
He will be sorely missed.
After consultation with the hosts of all our Regional and National Events for 2020 as well as the SASHOC Executive, we regretfully need to inform you that all SASHOC Events for 2020 has been cancelled. The implications of the Covid 19 pandemic and the ‘state of disaster’ declared by the President, as well we the further extended lockdown, has contributed to a position that we can no longer sanction SASHO events. It will be unrealistic to host any meaningful events for this year.
Boland has indicated that they are unable to host any of the Nationals given the extension of the lockdown and the uncertainty going forward. The Regional LOC’s have also expressed their willingness to postpone / cancel etc. If lockdown is eased, the further uncertainty of how many people will be allowed to be assembled is also an issue. Taking into consideration that regions will not have enough time to prepare teams, organize transport and the affordability of parents having not worked during this time has all impacted on the decision to discontinue with Events
Added to this discussion followed around that Schools could possibly only open in Term 3. The completion of the academic year will be a priority in all schools and this will place lots of pressure on educators to recover academic time. Holidays (if any) and Saturdays will likely be used by schools.
Any deviation from this directive must be communicated to SASHOC as all hockey events will be unsanctioned. The continued health and safety of our players and officials are critical. None of us have faced a challenge of this type and magnitude before.
Bursary applications and school awards for those in grade 12 might be influenced for 2020. Regions should consider hockey testimonials for those players within their HP system. SASHOC will continue with their HP squads with all players within their system and recommendations have been made for the u18’s to be considered for any u21 HP camps running up to the World Cup.
The South African Hockey Association has welcomed the postponement of the 2020 Olympic Games announced on Tuesday in a joint statement by President of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), Thomas Bach and the Prime Minister of Japan, Abe Shinzo because of the Covid-19 virus.
The Games have now been rescheduled to a date beyond 2020 but not later than the 2021 summer, in order to safeguard the health of the athletes and everybody involved in the Olympic Games and the international community.
"The postponement was inevitable given the global pandemic of COVID-19. This is a most pragmatic approach taken by the IOC. We welcome the decision and applaud the IOC for putting athletes Health & Safety first." shared SA Hockey CEO Marissa Langeni
The joint-statement also stated that in their meeting leading to the announcement it was agreed that the world's biggest multi-sporting event will keep the name Olympic and Paralympic Games Tokyo 2020.
The FIH said in a statement from CEO Theirry Weill that they supported the prudent and necessary decision of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and Tokyo 2020 Organising Committee to postpone the Olympic and Paralympic Games.
"On behalf of the International Hockey Federation (FIH), I would like to thank and express our full support to the International Olympic Committee, the Tokyo 2020 Organising Committee, the Japanese authorities and the Tokyo Metropolitan Government for the decision taken to postpone the Olympics to next year.
This decision brings clarity to the global hockey community and I’m sure it is supported by all athletes who are currently facing important challenges to train at this unprecedented time. The focus today is on staying at home to fight the COVID-19 pandemic. The message of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Torch that “Hope Lights Our Way” could not be more pertinent at this time.
We look forward to outstanding Olympic Games in Tokyo next year!""
The South African Hockey Association takes serious note of the 15 March 2020 Government Gazette No. 43096 declaring the COVID-19 pandemic a National Disaster as pronounced by the President of the Republic of South Africa the Honourable Cyril Ramaphosa.
Having considered the national address of the State President and his affirmation that “the situation calls for an extraordinary response; there can be no half measures”. It is clear that it cannot be business as usual for SA Hockey and a call to stop the spread of COVID-19 is a responsibility that we all carry. The health and safety of the hockey community and all South Africans at large is now more than ever of paramount concern.
The Executive Board of SAHA has today resolved that with immediate effect all hockey events scheduled for the period March to May 2020 will be postponed indefinitely. These events include but are not limited to National Level IPT Events, Festivals and International Invitational Series. We further strongly recommend that Domestic Provincial Leagues be postponed to limit the number of contact opportunities between participants. This measure will be reassessed mid-April and a further directive will be issued as needed. These directives will be taken in consultation with the relevant authorities and will be informed by the state of the nation at that time.
We would like to urge the hockey community to exercise caution, to maintain very high levels of personal hygiene and to support all efforts pronounced by National Government to proactively limit the risk of spreading/contracting the COVID-19 virus.
The South African Hockey Association announce with regret that the upcoming International hockey series in Durban featuring Ireland, Japan, China, Great Britain and South Africa has been cancelled as part of the preventative measures against the COVID-19 pandemic.
The decision was made after discussions between the various national associations who decided that a cancellation of the series would be in the best interest of all teams involved.
“Although the wonderful KwaZulu Natal hockey supporters will be disappointed that the series will no longer go ahead, we know they will be understanding of the decision.” Said Marissa Langeni, CEO of SA Hockey, “With the global situation remaining fluid, travel restrictions being announced on a daily basis, teams cannot be assured of returning home timeously and that uncertainty along with the sensitivity of possible exposure to the virus means that this was the best option for all parties involved.”
The series was to run from 19 March to the 03 April at Riverside Hockey club in Durban North with 17 matches being played. For the South African Women it will be a period of rest and work behind the scenes while the world fights together against the pandemic.