SouthlandSport editor Nathan Burdon

Howzit. I’m SouthlandSport editor Nathan Burdon

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Academy Southland coach programme applications open

Academy Southland coach programme applications open

Sid Cumming is one of the great forces of nature when it comes to Southland sport.

A hard-as-teak athlete in his own right, long-time coach and gym owner, so there wouldn’t be much point in Cumming being involved in a coaching programme, right? Old dogs, new tricks, and all that.


Cumming has been an integral member of the two year Performance Coach Programme run by Academy Southland.

High performance cycling coach Sid Cumming.

High performance cycling coach Sid Cumming.

The programme was born from Sport Southland’s 2013 Talent Development Strategy, which recognised coaching as an important area for development.

The nature of the programme has evolved over time but its essence is about providing a quality environment for upskilling coaches.

The first year of the programme focuses on the 'how' of coaching, especially around coach wellbeing and how they operate best as a coach and a person.

The second year asks questions like 'why do I coach?' and 'what is my coaching philosophy?' and sees the coaches create a personal development plan.

Those involved in the programme recently include Southern Steel’s championship-winning coach Reinga Bloxham, Sharks basketball assistant coach Mark Bell and Highlanders assistant coach Clarke Dermody.

“I went in there thinking it was going to help with my cycling coaching.” Cumming said.

“At the end of the day it wasn’t about technical cycling coaching, it was about me personally and my coaching - strategies, learning how to cope in different scenarios, learning how to use my time better and all those sorts of things. It was about understanding what makes me a better coach.”

As an experienced coach, Cumming said it was invigorating to take a fresh look at his approach and be open to learning.

“When you are talking with your athletes, you want them to change, but you don’t realise how hard that is unless you are doing it too. The other thing is about energy levels - if you want your athletes to give 100 percent, you have to give 100 percent too.”

Cumming had an intuitive understanding of the content included in the programme, but enjoyed the opportunity to consider new approaches alongside coaches from other sports.

The programme had created a very supportive network of aspiring coaches, Cumming said.

“The really cool thing is that you are coaching with coaches. Everyone is struggling with the same stuff and if we have a problem now we can talk to other coaches in our network and work through those issues.”

Applications for the next two year intake of Academy Southland’s Performance Coach Programme are now open and should be made from the Regional Sport Organisation.

Applications close on April 11.

For further information contact:

Academy Southland manager Jason McKenzie 027 283 2113

Netball South awards inaugural life membership

Netball South awards inaugural life membership

Jarrad Weeks on joining the Sharks

Jarrad Weeks on joining the Sharks