31 March 2019 - ISCA PC
Following the first day of the Club Coach course held back in January, seven candidates returned to the Isca Centre on the 31st March to be tested on the knowledge they had gained. This included three from the Devon Region; John Thatcher, Chris Bigmore and Lesley Drakatos.
First up was a one-hour written examination covering a wide range of topics, from the 'basics' (size and weight of legal competition boules, size of the throwing circle, etc) to trickier questions on the role of the coach and effective ways of communicating within coaching sessions. This was followed by a practical session, outside on a cold and breezy Isca terrain, formally observing and assessing three volunteer 'guinea pigs' on the various aspects of the throw - grip, stance, backswing, use of the non-throwing arm, follow-through and release - in pointing, squat pointing and shooting. Congratulations to the guinea pigs on their acting skills! Then each of the candidates was asked to give two short presentations, inside or out on the piste, on topics chosen at random, to test their effectiveness at communicating within the coaching process.
Finally, each candidate was asked to show their ability to demonstrate 'good practice' in pointing, squat pointing and shooting: it's all very well being able to talk the talk but coaches have to walk the walk as well!
Now the candidates have to wait for the results, which should be with them sometime in the next month. All good luck!
Overall, it was a very good day. Many thanks to PE Coach Chris Garratt who ran the course and examined the participants. Thanks also to Ged Barton and Thierry Hacq for organising things and for acting as guinea-pigs along with John Phipps. (Report by: Chris Bigmore)
10 March 2019 - ISCA PC
Players from Plymouth Petanque dominated the Devon Region Womens Doubles tournament, which was held at the Isca Centre, Exeter last weekend.
The event was staged to celebrate International Womens Day and was held in weather conditions that were far from ideal. The Plymouth duo of Carol Walsh and Sandie Evans took the title beating their club mates, Kim Wraight and Jackie Stevens, in a hard fought final. Both pairs were part of a strong contingent from the Brickfields based club.
The event involved a group phase, followed by knockout stages which were all hotly contested. The Plate competition was won by Chudleigh's Mother and Daughter team of Lesley Drakatos and Laura Linsell.
This was the first ever all Womens competition to be held by Devon Petanque, and players now hope it will become an annual event. It was one of a series of Womens Doubles tournaments held in most of Petanque England's regions around the country last week. All the regional winners now qualify to meet nationally in April and contest the IWD Trophy (Report by: Chris Bigmore)
13 January 2019 - ISCA PC
On Sunday 13th January eight candidates from Devon, Kernow and Great Western met in Exeter for exam tuition. The day was expertly led by Chris Garratt, with Thierry Hacq in support.
Starting at 10.30, after a quick photo of us all the morning was spent indoors, participating in an interactive seminar covering the organisation and theory of our sport. We started with a quiz, then ran through a slide presentation. One covered the ‘many hats’ expected of a coach, with the first letter of each of these duties compiling the acronym ‘Fosilid Stamps’! After a discussion on tactics around throwing the first and subsequent boules in an end, the session concluded by viewing a PE coaching video.
Most of us then opted for a hot meal laid on by the ISCA Centre. During this it was great to interact with players from other clubs in my county and its adjoining regions at one large round table. A short period of free time followed, enabling us to look at a ‘library’ of coaching literature that Chris had brought along.
During the afternoon we ventured outdoors. Initially Thierry led a warm up session, where we executed a range of exercises aimed at the parts of the body we would be using. Although deemed a good thing to do nationally, none of us had ever done this before.
Chris then demonstrated the aspects and techniques of pointing and shooting, from standing and squat positions. After this he led an example coaching session, using a range of equipment. During part of this we each, in turn, threw boules to point and subsequently to shoot. The other candidates spread out to observe these attempts, then gave constructive feedback on the throwers technique, based against the theory of the many aspects of delivering boules that we had discussed that morning. I found this session extremely helpful.
With inclement weather and darkness descending we went back inside. A discussion on the content of the ensuing exam was discussed, followed by general questions and answers and ending with a summary session. These items took us through to about 5pm. Everyone hailed the day a resounding success.
Many thanks to Chris and Thierry for their time and effort, plus to Ged for overseeing all the administration needed. (Report by: Kevin Cuss)