Scotland 7s head coach John Dalziel and head coach of BT Premiership side Ayr, Calum Forrester, have gained the United Kingdom Coaching Certificate (UKCC) Level 4 qualification, delivered in partnership with Edinburgh Napier University and sportscotland.
The course takes a minimum of two years to complete and aims to increase the standard of Scotland’s performance coaches by developing outstanding and knowledgeable decision makers who are better placed to advance their own and others learning.
Dalziel coached Scotland U20 to their highest ever tournament finish in the World Rugby U20 Championship last year and Forrester was named BT Coach of the Season in 2017 after leading Ayr to the BT Premiership title.
Tony Westbury, Programme leader, UKCC Level 4 and MSc Sport Performance Enhancement, said: “We are delighted with the way this programme has developed. Research done by colleagues in our subject group has shown that sports coaches often have an insular and inward looking community of practice - usually seeking support and advice from other coaches. This can mean that sports coaching is not evidence based and behind the curve. Our PG Dip programme, which now also has a cohort of gymnastics coaches going through their second year, introduces high-level coaches to post-graduate level sport science. This has the potential to transform coaching practice and give Scottish teams an edge over the competition.
“My colleagues, Drs Russell Martindale and Cedric English, were awarded the inaugural Above and Beyond Partnership award for the programme last March in recognition for the work done with Scottish Rugby to get the PG Dip up and running. We look forward to further developing the programme in the months ahead.”
Scottish Rugby’s Head of Training and education Neil Graham said: “We are delighted to have John and Calum complete the course after a busy and successful season.
“Our work with Edinburgh Napier and sportscotland has enhanced the development opportunities for Scotland’s up-and-coming coaches and we aim to continue that well into the future.
“We are committed to nurturing Scottish coaching talent through this qualification and we hope to see strong interest for inclusion in the next group this summer.”
Previous graduates of the course include Glasgow Warriors’ Kenny Murray as well BT Premiership head coaches, Phil Smith and Steve Lawrie.