University of Canterbury (UC) sports lecturer Hugh Galvan is working with the Manu Samoa rugby team in its test series in South Africa.
Manu Samoa is competing in a quadrangular competition with Italy, Scotland and South Africa. As a member of the UC School of Sport and Physical Education, Galvan lectures sports coaching and sports physical education.
He says he is honoured to be appointed as attack and skills coach for the Manu Samoa side. The team is currently ranked seventh in the world.
Galvan says part of the challenge for the Manu Samoa coaching staff is to bring together players from around the world in very a short time frame. The team made history last week beating Scotland 27-17 for the first time.
UC Associate Professor Nick Draper, head of UC’ School of Sport and Physical Education, says he was delighted with Galvan’s involvement in coaching Manu Samoa.
``This highlights one of the key aspects of the school's philosophy with regard to our Bachelor of Sport Coaching degree. It is vital staff within the school have strong research backgrounds to inform their teaching, excellent teaching skills and good links with our stakeholders.
``But it is important staff have credibility in a coaching context as well. While we have current staff who have coached and managed from grassroots to Olympic level and for a diverse range of sports such as rugby, judos, squash and croquet, Hugh's involvement with Manu Samoa further highlights the quality of our staff. Hugh is a highly valued member of staff and we are very proud of this achievement.
``As part of our continued commitment to the sport coaching degree programme and continual refinement and improvement, we have undergone a rigorous review and redevelopment of the degree.
``This has led to the creation of four proposed endorsements, still subject to approval, for the degree programme and a move to include an online option for the degree as well for 2014. The proposed endorsements will enable sport coaching students to specialise in an area of greatest interest which include Māori health and wellbeing, the latest developments in sport and exercise science and leadership.
``Addressing the needs of coaches already working in the industry, the school has developed a graduate certificate in sport coaching which is proposed to start in 2014 and will be available online so coaches can study in their current work environment,’’ Professor Draper says.
Mark Nugent, area director of Canterbury Judo says these types of qualifications will be of great interest and relevance to coaches across New Zealand and the online and part-time study opportunities will be particularly appealing, enabling coaches to continue in their full time work and commit to coach development.