Help Wanted – Gap Year Assistant Coach for Adaptive Rowing

7 Oct

Marlow Rowing Club is seeking a gap year volunteer part-time assistant coach for its adaptive rowing programme.  The responsibilities are very flexible and it is a ideal experience for someone considering a career in rowing, or sport and coaching in general.

Marlow Rowing Club has one of the largest and best equipped adaptive rowing programmes in the UK.

This person would join the full time volunteer coach/coordinator Bruce Lynn and other club supporters, as well as British Rowing Talent Paralympic Pathway Coach Ella Willott who periodically assists with training. Ella also welcomes Marlow adaptive coaches to observe and assist with her sessions with the British Pararowing Development squad.

The squad trains 6:00 – 8:00 pm on Wednesday evenings in the summer and then moves to 8:00 – 9:30 for land training (combination of ergs and S&C) in the winter, as well as 12:30 – 2:30 pm on Saturdays (slightly shorter session in winter).

The position is voluntary, but includes the following financial and other support:

  • Reimbursement of petrol and other out-of-pocket expenses
  • Club funding of RYA launch driving course and certification
  • Club funding of British Rowing UKCC (Club Coach) Level 2 Certificate in Coaching Rowing

Benefits include:

  • Rowing Skills (“Docendo discimus” — “the best way to learn is to teach”)
  • Community service
  • Occupational Therapy experience (researching, improving and experimenting with adaptations to equipment for various impairments)
  • Financial support for training and certification
  • Mentoring with veteran coaches

The responsibilities are very flexible and if you have conflicts with certain sessions, that’s not a problem at all (best to let everyone know in advance as we might need to make some adjustments in the session without you).

I asked Ollie Napier-Munn who has been in the coaching position for the past year to share a few sentences about his experience for others who might consider following him:

  • “When working beside Bruce, I learned many skills in regards to coaching and adaptive rowing. The understanding that every individual’s impairment is different so they need support in different aspects of a session. Also the ways in which to set up boats and even create new parts for boats to make it as easier and comfortable for all rowers. In regards to adaptive coaching as well, it is about making it an enjoyable session as well as helping them to improve. One of the best things about coaching the Para Squad is the members of the squad. They make it fun to attend a session but also work incredibly hard during training. It is also very rewarding because the feeling of being able to help someone do a sport that most people in their circumstances would not be able to do. It is an amazing feeling. If you do ever get the opportunity to coach the Marlow adaptive squad I wouldn’t hesitate because the experience and fun you have is second to none.”

But my favourite comment was his email to me sending me the above paragraph saying “I actually struggle to put into words properly the amount of fun I had and what I actually got out of the coaching.”

[PHOTO AT TOP – Oliver Napier-Munn coaching Pararower Kingley Ijomah at Marlow Rowing Club. Photo featured in the Henley Stewards Trust exhibit at Henley Royal Regatta showcasing young people the Henley Stewards Trust has supported over the past year.]

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