Aurizon Supports MWAS Coach Development

MWAS has received a $9,000 grant from the Aurizon Community Giving Fund. The grant will allow MWAS to continue to expand the program and to have a greater focus on the development of coaches right across the Mid West region.

Simon Barras, MWAS Coaching Effectiveness Consultant said  “We wish to thank Aurizon. We have a great group of quality coaches who are continuously striving to become better coaches. This is not only essential for the athletes on scholarship with the Mid West Academy of Sport but it also benefits more than 500 athletes in the Mid West who these coaches coach.

“As coaches engage in the MWAS Coaching Effectiveness Program they are being challenged to assess their own coaching to identify their strengths, areas they need to work on, and to develop a coaching development plan for themselves.

Ivan McLeod, Aurizon General Manager Iron Ore said “The Community Giving Fund is all about giving back to the communities in which our employees work and live.”

“The Fund celebrates and supports the enduring connection of our employees and Aurizon with regional and rural Australia.”   

Colin Thompson is a Tennis coach who is part of the Coaching Effectiveness Program. Colin has a wealth of experience as a coach having coached in a number of clubs, regions, and countries for around 17 years. Colin has been working within the program and has identified areas that he wants to work on to improve his own coaching and ultimately produce better Tennis athletes in the region.

“Being videoed and then sitting down and reviewing my coaching and talking about it has been very beneficial for me. I have now identified a couple of areas that I want to work on and some actions to be able to do this.”

Coaches in the MWAS Coaching Effectiveness Program have their own individual areas they are developing and they are encouraged to go out and try new ideas that they have been working on. For example, some coaches are now using more game-based training to teach skills in game-like situations. For other coaches it is about developing their communication methods such as asking athletes questions instead of always giving answers, or providing effective feedback in a positive way.

MWAS also encourages coaches to self-reflect. Being able to reflect on coaching and look at it critically is a crucial skill that coaches need to have. As Gilbert and Trudel (2006) stated “Ten years coaching without reflection is like one year repeated ten times.”

Chris Darlington, MWAS CEO said "We greatly appreciate the support provided by Aurizon. The grant will allow MWAS to expose coaches to experts such as sports psychologists, nutritionists, sports scientists and the MWAS Coaching Effectiveness Consultant, Simon Barras."

"By developing coaches, we can gradually expand the pool of talanted athletes and create a lasting legacy for the region." 

The Aurizon Community Giving Fund grants are open again in September. Interested charities should go to for further information.

MWAS will be open for 2015 scholarship applications from athletes, coaches and officials through September and October 2014. Email or call 08 9956 2181 for more information. MWAS particularly wishes to encourage applications from residents in remote communities as well as the Greater Geraldton area.