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Creating sports leaders of the future at academy

Posted onPosted on 5th Nov

Former Magnus Church of England student Cameron Dobson (right)was among the first group to graduate from the You Can Do Sport (YCDS) Academy — a multi-sports academy in Newark offering students routes to higher education and professional careers within the sports sector.

Now 18-year-old Cameron, from Balderton, has returned to the academy in a voluntary capacity to learn from the experts on what it takes to be a good coach.

Working in partnership with Magnus, YCDS offers a range of further education courses, including A-Levels and a BTEC L3 Extended Diploma in Sport alongside professional coaching in selected sports from high profile, former elite players.

Those sports include football and netball and the academy is looking to expand into rugby, boxing and rowing before September 2021.

Cameron explained why he is dedicating more time to work with the academy: “I wanted to stay on at YCDS because I saw a great opportunity to work with two great coaches in Gary Charles and Lee Esam.

“Gary played football at the highest level and throughout the two years I played at YCDS I learnt so much about playing and now I’m hoping I can learn more about coaching in the time I am here.”

Cameron supports staff to prepare for training sessions with a view to leading his own sessions in future.

“I want to learn what makes a good coach,” he added. I want to understand how a coach positions themselves during training, how they speak, what their body language is.

“I want to gain more ideas of what drills to do and how they relate to game situations. There’s so much that I can learn from both Gary and Lee and I have already learnt so much by being part of the coaching staff.”

Gary is head coach at YCDS, and as a former Nottingham Forest player, twice capped for England, he has become a mentor and inspiration not only for Cameron, but for other students at the academy.

Cameron Dobson

He said: “I have known Cameron for over two years and have watched him grow as a person and develop his skills during this time.

“It is testament to his enthusiasm and drive that he wants to volunteer at YCDS and learn from myself and the coaching team.

“He always asks the right questions and is willing to demonstrate and to explain to the group what is expected of them; he always leads by example.”

Gary said the experience Cameron is gaining will provide him with the best possible foundation to reach his career goals.

“Cameron has the drive and ambition needed to become a quality coach and he has a mature approach to his volunteering role,” he continued.

“He will not only learn how to coach skills and techniques, he will learn that coaching football involves looking after all aspects of a player’s life. That includes ensuring a players’ mental, educational and physical wellbeing are supported. Being a good coach involves being a mentor, counsellor, educator and fitness instructor in one role. I have every faith that Cameron will become a successful coach.”

Natalia Hart, director of YCDS, said: “Cameron is a shining example of the calibre of students we work hard to produce at the academy. He is determined, focused, driven and most of all willing to listen and learn from his peers. He rightly wants to get the most from his time with us and we are all delighted he has chosen to return for a year to build his experience as a coach.

“He could have done this anywhere but he chose us and that is testament to the relationship he has built with our coaches, his respect for their abilities and the value he sees in learning from them. We work hard to form a professional yet friendly, compassionate and approachable relationship with our students and it’s rewarding to see the mutual respect this garners.”

Natalia says that Cameron will be supported to gain his L2 coaching badge with the FA and a L3 sports leadership qualification which will give him a licence to practice when he is 18.

She said: “Cameron, like all of our students, past or present, are part of the YCDS family. Our door is always open to them.”

TOP: From left, Mike Lowery, director of education, YCDS; Lee Esam, lead football coach, YCDS; Connie Xavier, YCDS Netball Academy manager; Natalia Postlethwaite, director and operations manager, YCDS Academy; Cameron Dobson, YCDS Academy graduate; and Gary Charles, YCDS Football Academy manager. Photo: Lou Brimble