Hertfordshire ASA Conference 2013

On the weekend of the 16th – 17th February 2013, the Hertfordshire Sports Village was filled with a multitude of people - keen to develop, share ideas, or simply to support the county in delivering a fantastic Hertfordshire ASA Conference, which launched the County Sports Partnership ‘Herts Coaching Week’. Herts Sports Partnership funded the cost of all the rooms and water-time over the weekend, as well as supporting the organising team.

The weekend began with a day of finding out about the world of disability in aquatics. Rob Aubry- the GB Development Coach for swimming, led a session on Low Classification, and, to support the theory in the classroom, the 19 coaches who attended then got to see a dry land session and a pool session led by Rob, to actually see demonstrations and join in the coaching. Around 20 swimmers, with a variety of physical impairments, supported this event by attending to demonstrate their needs from their coach to enable inclusion.

At the same time, there was a seminar delivered for our teachers wanting to gain an understanding on how to include swimmers with severe physical impairments into a mainstream environment. Ten learners attended this session and again, it was followed by a poolside session to demonstrate the theory learned.

Carl Cooper, Playground to Podium Officer for British Swimming, organised both the presenters and all of the athletes, bringing them from various part of the country. Carl also supported the county and its members by negotiating funding for the day through British Swimming.

The second day started with a masterclass on butterfly techniques, as well as starts and turns. There were 30 attendees for this session, with a waiting list in place. This fantastic session was delivered by Kevin Ayres -  a highly skilled coach who regularly travels to America to listen to the latest technological advancements. The learners also got the chance to put theory into practice in the pool, thanks to Berkhamsted Swimming Club swimmers. 

During the morning there was also representation from the young people of our clubs when ten young people aged 14- 25years, attended the second Herts Youth Forum. This gave the ASA a chance to find out the opinions and ideas that our young people within our clubs have, and from this event we can move forward in developing them into on the ground delivery.

In the afternoon of the Sunday, the Head of Volunteering Engagement- Francesca Kelly, travelled down from Loughborough to deliver a session on Volunteering and gave a really informative presentation to 22 attendees. As well as gaining information, the volunteers got involved in some pilots moving forward! Following this session was a great talk led by the County Sports Partnership on Sport Makers and the opportunities available to clubs. Everyone then received a Sport Maker T-shirt and sports bag which rounded off the weekend nicely!

In all, the event was really well received by the clubs of Hertfordshire. Representatives from other counties also attended. They will be able to take the event format home with them to roll out in their own counties, including Derbyshire! Over one hundred swimmers, coaches, learners and athletes benefitted from a fantastic weekend, but without the help of the County Sports Partnership (HSP) and all the volunteers involved in the planning and delivery of the event, it could not have happened. -  THANK YOU.

View Photos from the weekend here