Last Updated: Jul 27, 2023 - 2:29:42 PM

Coaching Convention Hailed a Success
Jul 27, 2023 - 11:13:38 AM

Over 140 coaches attended the 2010 BAFCA Convention from 16th to 18th July and came away with the quality of experience that can only help elevate the game in Britain. The feedback was unequivocal; it was the best Convention so far!

Loughborough University has an international reputation for excellence in teaching, research and unrivaled sporting excellence which makes the outstanding facilities at the Holywell Park site very fitting for the convention. Coaches travelled from far and wide with Scotland, Ireland, Wales and all corners of England represented.

On Friday, the Sky Sports TV cameras were on hand to film the events and interview headline guest speakers Jeff Reinebold and Pat Ruel along with other attendees, father and son team; David Needs Snr and Jnr, Dom Bonvetti and former Denver Bronco, and now Coventry Jets QB, Lorne Sam.

The day opened with a bang with the first session delivered by Coach 'Golden' Pat
Ruel (pictured), who is acknowledged as one of the best offensive line coaches in the business. The impact was immediate with Coach Ruel’s endless jokes and stories supporting priceless pieces of advice on how to coach and get the most from players. Recently, named Coach Ruel one of the best twenty-five recruiters in the USA and it was obvious why; within 15 minutes he was best friends with every coach in the room!

A very difficult act to follow was handled consummately by probably U.K. football’s best friend; SMU coach and Sky Sports TV pundit, Jeff Reinebold. Coach Reinebold delivered a session on the 30 front defense with the passion and enthusiasm he is well known for. At this point it was clear the 2010 Convention was going to be a special event!

Friday's events carried on late into the evening with further sessions by coaches Ruel, Reinebold, Needs Snr and Needs Jnr; The learning and camaraderie continued even later in the lounge bar.

Saturday is traditionally the busiest day at the Convention and this year was no different. The main hall was alive with traders, the DVD resource library, the Coaches' Association stand, Buzz Sessions and impromptu coaching discussions over coffee. The coaches ranged from NFL players and Super Bowl winners to first-year coaches all talking as one big family with the only goal to learn from each other. The Referees' Association’s Simon Ryan was on hand for any questions and the guest speaker coaches freely mingled with attendees between presentations to address individual questions.

On Saturday evening, the BAFCA Coach of the Year awards were presented with this year's winners being:

Youth Contact Coach of the Year - Dave Hogarth, Colchester Gladiators

Adult Contact Coach of the Year - Mark Moss, London Blitz

Flag Football Coach of the Year - Roger Smithies, Studley Bearcats

University Coach of the Year - Martin Hume, Solent Redhawks

Despite many coaches reluctantly having to leave the convention early for games on the Sunday a larger contingent remained for the Sunday field sessions.

Coaches' Association President, Jim Messenger, said: 'We seem to have found a winning combination here. The facilities at Loughborough are excellent and we continue to capture top-notch guest speakers. The US coaches love coming to Britain and we are continuing to build our reputation as hosts through an expanding network of past attendees.'

Simon Hatcher, BAFCA Director of Administration, said: 'We would like to thank everyone who contributed and attended this year for making the 2010 Convention our best ever. The challenge now is to make 2011 even better, but we already have a host of ideas and we are looking forward to that challenge.'

The 2011 Convention is likely to again take place in early July next year.

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