The Youth Sports Conference & Expo - which is set to take place on Thursday, November 19 - promises to provide solutions for pressing issues in the world of youth sport. Photo: Milnerton RFC First XV
The Youth Sports Conference & Expo - which is set to take place on Thursday, November 19 - promises to provide solutions for pressing issues in the world of youth sport. Photo: Milnerton RFC First XV

Youth Sports Conference and Expo to address pressing youth sport issues

By Wynona Louw Time of article published Sep 16, 2020

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CAPE TOWN - The lack of sporting opportunities and exposure for athletes is one of the many, and more obvious, effects of the Covid-19 pandemic. But what about our coaches?

This year, there has certainly been a shortage of opportunities for coaches and sports practitioners to connect, network and learn, and while Zoom meetings and webinars have become the flavour of 2020, there’s always room for innovation – innovation that won’t just be relevant during these times, but innovation that can change the way we do things going forward as well.

That’s where the Youth Sports Conference & Expo comes in.

The event, which is set to take place on Thursday, November 19 promises to provide solutions for pressing issues in the world of youth sport. With content specifically developed for key stakeholders such as parents, coaches, educators and administrators from schools, universities and other high performance and private institutions, the event will uncover the “secrets of youth sporting success” with renowned leading global experts delving into key areas in an eight-hour online segment.

During the virtual conference, several areas will be covered including coaching, nutrition, psychology, training, and technology. These selected topics have been developed as part of the programme to help drive innovations for a new age.

Event director, Ebrahim Moerat. Photo: Supplied

One of the most exciting aspects of the event are the individuals who will be sharing their knowledge as keynote speakers.

World Cup-winning coach and current Bulls director of rugby, Jake White will form part of an accomplished line-up including record-setting schoolboy rugby coach and current Lions mentor Sean Erasmus, Dr Sherylle Calder (Eye Gym) and Springbok Sevens strength and conditioning coach, Ghafoer Luckan.

Calder, who won gold medals at the 2003 and 2007 Rugby World Cups, will shed light on the latest technological and scientific industry innovations, while Luckan will provide attendees with in-depth insight into the field of maximising player performance.

In another first for youth sports on the local landscape, the event also has a virtual exhibition platform. This platform will zoom in on how organisations lead the way in adapting to the new environment, enabling them to propel into a new world of business, quicker.

An image of the virtual lobby for the Youth Sport Conference & Expo.

Event director, Ebrahim Moerat – who runs 02 Sports, a sports consultancy group - founded the previous schools Sports Summit which hosted over 500 school sports practitioners. He also managed the Cape Argus Sports Show between 2015-2019. Now, he’s excited about giving the youth sports network an opportunity to re-engage.

“As a coach it’s been hard to not be able to work with players these past few months and as a business we have had to become very creative in how we operate in this space,” the provincial youth and club rugby coach and former Junior Springbok said.

“There has been many platforms available for online engagement, but we wanted to innovate and create a dynamic new platform to bring coaches and sport businesses from SA and abroad together and gather industry leaders to share knowledge and stimulate debate in this new era.”

As a speaker at the event, Erasmus shared his thoughts on what he thinks the conference will offer coaches.

“Covid has obviously been really hard on players and coaches all over the world, some people have lost their jobs and players have lost their opportunities to prove themselves by playing in front of people and gaining exposure. But I think what it’s also taught us is that you have to live for every moment and make the most of every opportunity when you do get it,” he said.

“Also, to use the time to just quiet down a bit and learn and make sure that you upskill. I think it’s going to change the way we train and prepare. At the moment, working in small groups is a real pain, but what it actually did was help us focus on individual skills and focus on the little things, so I think that’s a real positive, and it’s something I think our coaches at school level could use, working in smaller groups could benefit them.”

“I think it’s important that nobody ever gives up and that you use every opportunity, use every possible opportunity to upskill yourself and be in the company of other people where you can get that. A conference like this will give that opportunity to coaches all over the world to connect again and to create contacts with people who could possibly offer opportunities for coaches.”

“It’s always good to get together and share information and your vision, because that vision could be of interest to somebody else, so it’s really important that coaches get involved in opportunities like this.”

Keynote speakers:

Jake White

Robin Vealey (US Youth Sport Professor from Miami University)

Dr Mike Posthumus (Sports Science Institute of South Africa)

Dr Sherylle Calder

Sean Erasmus

Mark Hull (3D Coaching Institute USA)

Ghafoer Luckan

Jannie Putter (Mental Coach)

*Ticket prices are set at R350 and delegates will not only have access to the exclusive content on the day, but all content will also be available on any device for 30 days following the live event.

For more information or to register, visit: www.youthsportconference.com or email [email protected]

@WynonaLouw

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