Leeds Rhinos Netball began the new year strongly kicking off 2020 with its latest in a series of coaching conferences delivered by the Rhinos' performance team, this time partnering with netball legends, Tracey Neville MBE and Amanda Newton.
Over 40 coaches from across the UK registered for Rhinos first education event for the year - which was a sell-out - with Neville and Newton's 30-plus years collective experience playing and coaching netball proving too good an opportunity for many to miss. For a number of delegates, it was also the inaugural component of their 'One Vision' mentorship, a brand-new initiative created and delivered by the Rhinos team to coaches from within the County region looking to increase their skills and ability through a programme designed specifically for netball.
Following a Welcome session, the day conference was split into two halves with 'attacking' the theme for the morning courtesy of the former Roses coach and player, Neville; where she used a number of current Rhinos Academy athletes to demonstrate the various options for an effective attack across the court. After lunch, Newton switched the focus to 'defending' - her own forte as a player - running the athletes through a number of drills spotlighting footwork and angles to increase the chances of winning the ball. Each session concluded with a series of questions put to the presenting coach by Rhino's own Superleague Head Coach, Dan Ryan, withOne Vision mentees also privy to an exclusive 30-minute closed session after the conference where they put their own queries to Neville and Newton.
Immediate feedback from the delegates was positive, several saying how much they had picked up from this professional yet relaxed event; with conference lead and Rhinos' performance coach, Maggie Birkinshaw, also pleased with the day's outcome:
"We've known for some time this level of education is much needed in the Yorkshire region and the numbers clarify that. It's our third conference event and each one has been a success due in part to the kudos of the guests we invite along to present but also the delegates, who are all really keen to learn and to collaborate with one another to get the best from the day. It means they take so much away from the events and nobody leaves disappointed. We're pleased this event was no different and people see the value."
Neville, recently retired from her Roses Head Coach position to focus on starting a family, added her own praise: "I feel it's massively important for coaches to mix together at this kind of event as it's where they learn best, chatting with their peers and swapping ideas. There was little of this kind of event for netball coaches when I made the switch from player to coach and it's great to see more of this activity coming now from the likes of Rhinos, which is vital for our sport."
The next coaching event from Rhinos will take place during the summer months, with details to be announced in February. Anybody wishing to speak with Rhinos regarding their One Vision mentorship programme should contact Maggie Birkinshaw via email using the Rhinos central admin team address firstname.lastname@example.org