In honour of National Volunteers Week, and to celebrate the new – and free – CoachMate app now available for volunteer coaches across the country, Basketball New Zealand (BBNZ) are launching a #cheerscoach campaign to thank all the coaches who make basketball possible every day for kids and adults across the country.
“Coaches are the backbone of our sport, and we know that more than 95% of all our coaches are volunteers. Without their time, passion, and dedication, basketball wouldn’t be able to happen anywhere,” says BBNZ Chief Executive Dillon Boucher.
“There’s no way I would be where I am today if it wasn’t for the volunteer coaches who helped me, and I know there are thousands of people doing the same thing every day for so many others across Aotearoa. This campaign, and the launch of our new app, is a chance for us to say thank you and to give something back to the people that give so much to our sport.”
Data from a BBNZ ‘Hoops in Schools’ survey from 2020 shows that basketball relies heavily on parents and teachers to coach and develop players, but that few are trained or resourced to do the job.
“The feedback was that almost three quarters of schools felt they do not have sufficiently qualified coaches or teachers to deliver their basketball programme. They told us they needed better resources, ideally in a digitised form and overall a more professional approach to coaching for volunteers,” says Boucher.
“That’s why we’re so pleased to have launched CoachMate, which we know is going to not only save coaches time but will also make coaching basketball more accessible for everyone.”
Since its release two weeks ago, more than 400 basketball coaches across the country have already downloaded the app – which allows users to learn an activity in under 90 seconds, plan practices in minutes, and upskill at their own pace.
For Intermediate Sports Coordinator Sam Brown, CoachMate is already creating opportunities for more kids to play basketball.
“The CoachMate app has opened up a raft of opportunities for our learners, it will build confidence in a field that previously others felt unequipped to teach – giving our students even more possibilities to get involved in the sport of basketball,” says Brown.
“Outside of school, the app also makes coaching accessible to all of our parents. It provides experience and structure, letting anyone step up and take charge no matter their background.”
Northland Basketball General Manager Josh Port says CoachMate is a welcome tool for volunteers across the region.
“CoachMate is a gamechanger for communities like ours. At your fingertips you have drills, skills, activities, and knowledge that otherwise would not be readily available to us. It’s not only is setup in a way that makes sense, but its adaptable and gives insights that help on your coaching journey,” says Port.
“I have loved using CoachMate with the young fellas I’m coaching, as it reinforces learnings, and helps to give ideas and inspiration for different focus areas of coaching that I otherwise may not have thought about.”
“We’re so grateful for everything all our volunteers do across our sport – and we know it’s not just coaches. We can’t forget all the referees, score bench personnel, team managers, statisticians, parents and everyone who contributes to the fabric of our sport,” says Boucher.
“With the launch of CoachMate, this year we wanted to take the time to really spotlight the impact coaches have on all our participants and we hope our community will get behind the #cheerscoach campaign and do the same.”
Find out more and download CoachMate now at www.CoachMate.sport/bbnz