A quiet revolution took place recently when representatives from the BMC, the Mountaineering Council of Scotland and the Mountaineering Council of Ireland agreed to the development of a national coaching system.
The three mountaineering councils and Mountain Leader Training UK meet periodically under the umbrella of the Mountaineering Coordination Group (MCG). Within this forum, they discuss issues that impact upon Britain and Ireland. In autumn 2006 the MCG tasked a working group, the National Source Group (NSG), to investigate the issue of coaching provision within Mountaineering (the term ‘Mountaineering’ is used here to describe climbing, hill walking and mountaineering).
The NSG members are Brian Griffiths (Chair), Steve Long (MLTUK & BMG, Secretary), Dave Binney & Jon Garside (BMC), Mark Reeves (BMC Cymru), Kev Howett & Dave MacLeod (MCofS), Angela Carlin & Eddie Cooper (MCI), Neil Johnson (MLTW), Allen Fyffe (MLTS), Trevor Fisher (MLTNI / Tollymore), Martin Chester (Plas y Brenin), George McEwan (Glenmore Lodge) and Neil Gresham (Independent)
Over the course of 15 months and six meetings, the NSG consulted widely on the issue and in their final report suggested a range of ways forward.
At their recent meeting, when the NSG report
was discussed, the MCG recognised the development of a coaching system as a priority for mountaineering.
As a first step, the MCG decided that option 3.3 of the report should be investigated further. To this end, the NSG is tasked with reporting on the cost and feasibility of developing a parallel coaching system in conjunction with the current Mountain Leader Training awards.
Within its funding bid to Sport England for 2009 – 13, the BMC has requested financial support to develop a coaching system. We hope to find out how successful our bid has been in December.
With recent success in Beijing, the 2012 Olympics in London and the development of UK Coaching Certificate, these are exciting times for all sport in the UK. The outcome of the recent MCG meeting points to exciting times in the mountaineering world too.
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