PICTURE: STEPHEN TREMAIN
By PAT McLEOD
ANOTHER key piece of bedrock has been put in place to continue Bond Rugby Club’s success story on and off the field.
On the back of a breakout year that heralded unprecedented achievements for the Bull Sharks’ rugby program, Bond University has also successfully launched an exciting addition to its unfolding sports curriculum.
Bond’s Executive Director of Sport Garry Nucifora said a long-held vision for the university to offer an educational focus on sport was taking shape, with the first of a series of coaching microcredentials now available.
Sports Coaching: Essential Communication Skills is the first in a suite of online courses targeted at coaches of all levels.
“The fact that we have just named our Premier rugby coaching panel (Grant Anderson re-appointed as head coach and Damon Virtue and Andrew Fraser named as his assistants) and are close to finalizing the complete Bull Sharks’ coaching roster, I believe it is also timely to detail what we are also offering coaches from an educational viewpoint,” Nucifora said.
“The Bond University Sport brand has always been about more than the physical side of sport. Of course we had to get our sports programs up and running and we are extremely pleased with what has and is being achieved by our sportspeople.
“But longer term the university has had a wide-reaching plan for Edu-Sport, especially around coaching.
“After a great deal of planning and a lot of work I am extremely happy with our first offering. These courses sit in our microcredentials space. They offer short, competitively-priced, on-line courses with real, practical value.
“The Essential Communication Skills course for example will take approximately two hours to complete and costs $125. The uptake has been very good in the short time it has been available.”
Nucifora said the courses would be applicable to all sporting genres and levels.
“These courses aren’t about ‘what’ to coach, but ‘how’ to coach,” he said. “From the Dad who takes over his son’s Under 10 side to a career coach at an elite level, these courses talk to both effectively.
“I have a real passion in this area of coach education and I know the senior sporting people at Bond, including ‘Ando’ (Grant Anderson) and Luca (Bond Director of Rugby Luca Liussi), share my vision in this area.
“Bond has created an environment where sportspeople can follow their sporting dreams at an elite and grassroots level while dove-tailing that with their educational pursuits.
“Now we are offering the same for coaches, many of whom have a similar aspirational drive as the people they are mentoring.”
Nucifora expects more coaching courses to be rolled out in 2022.
“Over time we hope to have about a dozen courses available,” he said.
“The courses and the subject matter will change over time, just like coaching does. The skill-set and requirements of a coach in 2022 are so different than five, 10 or 20 years ago.”
Bond’s coaching microcredentials are also designed to overlay onto sport specific courses that are already available.
“Our courses are not about teaching people how to pass a ball or shoot a goal and our first course, based around communication, is a perfect example,” Nucifora said.
“It is all about being an effective coach.”
Bond Director of Rugby, Luca Liussi, said the courses have a mouth-watering after-taste for Bond Sport and the wider Gold Coast.
“I am dealing with coaches almost every day and I know just how a big a demand there is for coach education,” he said.
“The coaching microcredentials being presented, and to be presented, mean that I can offer prospective Bond rugby coaches something more.
“I have no doubt these courses will result in Bond and the Gold Coast becoming a coaching hub. This university and region already offers so much to athletes as a high performance training environment. This will be enticing for a lot of coaches.”