Already recognised as leading the way in Coach Development, the Ospreys Coach Development team now boasts one of only five active IRB Coach Educators in Wales after Dan Owens received IRB accreditation.
The department has consistently set the standard within Wales, with 1st4sport Qualifications, the external awarding body, recently labeling the team
“an excellent example of how a Coach Development centre should be run”, twelve months after they declared that the Ospreys were "again setting the example of Best Practice in Wales".
Coach Development Officer Owens has received his accreditation after undertaking a 30-hour course that focused on identifying coach educators of the ability to lead and deliver IRB coaching courses. With only four other IRB Coach Educators currently active in Wales, the high standards expected are clear to see.
Speaking about his accreditation, and the development opportunities handed to him at the Ospreys, Owens said:
"During my time with the Ospreys, I have been afforded some fantastic opportunities and support in order to develop myself. This IRB Coach Educator accreditation is another in a long line of development opportunities I have taken advantage of in order to progress along my career pathway.
“The course is something I have had on my radar for several years. I was one of two selected by the WRU to represent them on this course. That in itself is an honour and something I am very proud of.
“As an IRB Licensed Educator, I can now put my skills to the test on foreign soil. Currently the WRU support and service five emerging or developing nations in Europe that include: Luxembourg, Germany, Romania, Ukraine and Serbia. Each country in its own right offers some great opportunities to experience different cultures and ways of life that I can bring back with me to Wales, and to the Ospreys, to enhance my role.
“The role itself also provides some exciting challenges. I often remind myself and the Ospreys Coach Education workforce how privileged we are to have a facility like Llandarcy Academy of Sport, that is world class and constantly being improved, to train our coaches. Some of the nations I may visit may not have national facilities as well developed. That environment can in itself test the abilities of an educator and is something I am really looking forward to.
“It will be a completely different experience having to work through a local translator who may not 100 per cent understand you, to an audience where rugby could be 118 on a list of 119 of national sports, now that for me is an exciting prospect.
“Ultimately I am now looking forward to growing the game internationally. The core ethos of the game is about enjoyment, fair play, discipline and respect to all parties; players, coaches and officials. This is a message that rings true not only in Ospreylia, but worldwide. To be a part of growing the love of the game and ultimately participation in the game is why I do my job, and to be able to do that around the world whilst also developing myself is a good reason to get up in the morning!"
Regional Community Manager, Ben Rose, congratulated Owens on his accreditation:
“It’s a wonderful achievement that reflects well on Dan, and both he and the Ospreys can take great pride from it. As a department, we are constantly striving to deliver coach and player education of the highest quality to the local rugby community, and this is yet another example of how we continue to push the boundaries.
“No doubt Dan will now look to take the Ospreylian way to developing coaches internationally, and I’m sure that he will bring back some interesting and worthwhile experiences that can be utilised in our day-to-day environment here at Llandarcy.”