Buttercross, December 5, 2014: Dedicated coaches need our support

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Coaches. Not the ones that transport us, but the ones who get out, particularly our young people, to instruct, teach and make them better than they might be. The trick is to have us all, again particularly our younger folk, loaded with a desire to learn.

There are those teachers and instructors such as school teachers, driving instructors, dance teachers, golf pros, etc, etc who carry out their work for a living.

On occasions it must be pretty hard going given the lack of natural ability on occasions in front of them, but they persevere as it is what puts food on the table and pays the bills .

Then there are the other types of teachers, the ones that give their spare time, free of charge, to pass on their knowledge and expertise to then willing pupils.

The quality of this teaching usually cannot be faulted as it is given, and received, with enthusiasm and no little willingness which makes the whole exercise worthwhile. We have many examples among us locally of such selfless tuition, certainly in a sporting context.

Given there is so little for our youngsters to involve themselves in away from the classroom it is regrettable how little interest our local authorities take in the sporting welfare of our children.

The skate park has received quite a bit of attention but support for other local sporting groups is minimal if not non-existent.

There appears to be one councillor actively involved with our rugby club and, similarly, one local Breckland councillor is seen regularly supporting our town football club.

Perhaps when voting time comes around in a few months time, prospective councillors could to be sounded out on where they stand with the need to actively support town sport. Willingness to do so might gain them a few more votes.

However, notwithstanding this perceived lack of support, many coaches go about their business with time freely given and finance hard to come by.

West Acre has a very strong billiards club and this is all down to the hard work of Phillip Welham. Many youngsters attend sessions with Phillip, who has just been recognised as a national coach.

Similarly, our rugby club has coaches of the highest quality and anyone with an hour or two to spare could do worse than visit the Myer’s Playing Field on a Sunday morning.

Youngsters attached to, and being coached by, Swaffham Town Football Club, may well be playing a game and the under eights are having a particularly successful season.

Well done to the coaches and the attending parents for getting out there with their children.

At the very least, fitter children in both mind and body will emerge and, just possibly, an occasional youngster who will go on to make a name for themselves, and our town, in their chosen sport.