A Brief History and Mission Statement

North Somerset Athletics Academy was founded in February 2005 to cater for the elite Athletes across the County. The initial Academy was created from Primary School Athletes who were identified through Athletics Festivals, Clubs and visits to Schools. During September 2006 the Secondary School Academy was added. Since it's conception, the Academy has gone from strength to strength, and is now a benchmark in North Somerset for quality Athletes to be trained and conditioned in a variety of Events. NSAA boasts more than 210 Athletes from Years 5-10, and 10-12 Coaches/Ambassadors, amongst them current and former International Athletes, from Level 3 downwards. Competitions are plentiful, and Athletes are encouraged to compete within their comfort zones across the South of England and Wales, it is anticipated that during 2008 we will officially attend 20+ events. NSAA houses County, Regional and National Champions in disciplines including Track & Field, Sportshall Athletics, Cross-Country and even Orienteering! Because of our approach to conditioning, we are also entrusted in conditioning Athletes from other Sports. Once again we can point towards exceptional achievements in Swimming, Judo, Karate, Tae-kwon-do, Rugby, Football and Hockey... The mission was, and is, to educate the talented Sportsmen and women in the most up-to-date techniques and training methods available across the full range of Athletic events. The belief is that by creating a professional and positive environment, North Somerset will finally punch its weight at County and Regional Championships...and beyond. Conditioning will be a major feature of these Academies, as we wish to instill a discipline and structure into each Athlete's life. It is believed that once an Athlete has experienced this 'new' approach to our fantastic sport, they will seek out the Weekly Clubs that are run in the County with our enthusiastic and knowledgeable Coaches to increase the speed of their development, and to ensure the commencement of a healthy active life...Eventually, maybe an Athletics Facility could be within our grasp! - Chris Millard (NSAA Head Technical Coach - 22/02/07) 

Criteria for Selection:

We work on the 3A principle for selection, Ability, Attitude and Attendance.

                    Ability - NSAA is an invite-only Group. Athletes will be selected based on performances in Festivals, Competitions and in weekly Clubs. If you wish to gain selection, you will need to be seen here! The only other way you will be selected is via your Secondary School, with supportive data (ie times and distances).

                    Attitude - NSAA has raised eyebrows wherever it competes for its camaraderie and team spirit. If your attitude to other people is 'poor', you will not be invited in, no matter how good you are. If your behaviour deteriorates whilst you are with us, then you will be removed. NSAA will continue to be an environment where Athletes can develop to their maximum potential, without distraction. NSAA runs Child Safe and Equity Policies, and reserves the right to remove individuals that refuse to adhere to these beliefs.

                    Attendance - It is important that every individual at NSAA shows more than a passing interest in our Sport, therefore we will never select Athletes, eg based on a visit to a school to run a PE lesson. NSAA Athletes who never attend Clubs or Competitions will not be invited back for another year, as the interest in NSAA is high and we wish to give places to those who will commit to us, and not just bathe in the kudos of the Academy...

Coaches play a crucial role in the development of Athletics and in the lives of the athletes they coach. Good coaches ensure that individuals in Athletics have positive experiences and are therefore more likely to continue in their sport and achieve their potential. Coaches must demonstrate a high level of honesty, integrity and competence. the need for coaches to understand and act on their responsibiliteis is of critical importance, as is the need to protect the key concept of participation for fun and enjoyment as well as achievement. This is implicit within good coaching practice and promotes a professional image of the good practitioner. This code of conduct defines all that is best in good coaching practice.

Good coaching practice needs to reflect the following key principles;
RIGHTS - Coaches must respect and champion the rights of every individual to participate in Athletics
RELATIONSHIPS - Coaches must develop a relationship with athletes (and others) based on openness, honesty, mutual trust and respect.
RESPONSIBILITIES - PERSONAL STANDARDS - Coaches must demonstrate proper personal behaviour and conduct at all times.
RESPONSIBILITIES - PROFESSIONAL STANDARDS - To maximise benefits and minimise the risks to athletes, coaches must attain a high level of competence through qualifications and a commitment to ongoing training that ensures safe and correct practice.

Coaches must respect and champion the rights of every individual to participate in Athletics.

Coaches should;
Assist in the creation of an environment where every individual has the opportunity to participate in an Athletics activity of their choice.
Create and maintain an environment free of fear and harassment.
Recognise the rights of all athletes to be treated as individuals.
Recognise the rights of athletes to confer with other coaches and experts.
Promote the concept of a balanced lifestyle supporting the well-being of the Athlete both in and out of the sport.

Treat all individuals in Athletics with respect.
Do not discriminate on the grounds of gender, marital status, race, colour, disability, sexuality, age, occupation, religion or political opinion.
Do not condone or allow to go unchallenged any form of discrimination.
Do not publicly criticise or engage in demeaning descriptions of others.
Be discreet in any conversations about athletes, coaches or any other individuals.
Communicate with and provide feedback to athletes in a manner which reflects respect and care.

Coaches must develop a relationship with athletes (and others) based on openness, honesty, mutual trust and respect.

Must not engage in behaviour that constitutes any form of abuse (physical, sexual, emotional, neglect, bullying).
Should promote the welfare and best interests of their athletes.
Must avoid sexual intimacy with athletes wither while coaching them or in the period of time immediately following the end of the coaching relationship.
Must take action if they have a concern about the behaviour of an adult towards a child.
Should empower athletes to be responsible for their own decisions.
Should clarify the nature of the coaching services being offered to athletes.
Should communicate and co-operate with other organisations and individuals in the best interests of athletes.

Be aware of the physical needs of athletes, especially those still growing, and ensure that training loads and intensities are appropriate.
ensure that physical contact is appropriate and necessary and is carried out within recommended guidelines with the athlete's full consent and approval.
Do not engage in any form of sexually related contact with an under-age athlete. This is strictly forbidden, as is sexual innuendo, flirting or inappropriate gestures and terms.
Inform parents immediately if you are at all concerned about the welfare of a child.
Duscuss with parents and other interested parties the potential impact of the programme on the athlete.
Arrange to transfer an athlete to another coach if it is clear that an intimate relationship is developing.
Follow the reporting procedures laid down by UK;Athletics if you have a concern. Non-action is unacceptable.
Respect athletes' opinions when making decisions about their participation in Athletics.
Encourage athletes to take responsibility for their own development and actions.
Allow athletes to discuss and participate in the decision-making process.
Discuss and agree with athletes what information is confidential.
Inform athletes or their parents of the requirements of their sport.
Inform athletes or their parents of any potential costs involved in accessing the coaching services on offer.
Be aware of and communicate on any conflict of interest as soon as it becomes apparent.
Do not work with any other coach's athletes without first discussing or agreeing it with both the coach and the athlete involved.
Identify and agree with athletes which other experts or organisations could offer appropriate services.

Coaches must demonstrate proper personal behaviour and conduct at all times.

Must be fair, honest and considerate to athletes and others in their sport.
Should project an image of health, cleanliness and functional efficiency.
Must be positive role models for athletes at all times.

Operate within the rules and the spirit of Athletics.
Educate athletes on issues relating to the use of performance enhancing drugs in Athletics and co-operate fully with UK Sport and UK;Athletics Policies.
Maintain the same level of interest and support when an athlete is sick or injured.
Display high standards in use of language, manner, punctuality, preparation and presentation.
Encourage athletes to display the same qualities.
Do not smoke, drink or use recreational drugs before or while coaching. This reflects a negative image and could compromise the safety of your athletes.
Display control, respect, dignity and professionalism to all involved in your sport.

To maximise benefits and minimise the risks to athletes, coaches must attain a high level of competence through qualifications and a commitment to ongoing training that ensures safe and correct practice.

Coaches will;
Provide a safe environment that maximises benefits and minimises risks to athletes in achieving their goals.
Promote the execution of safe and correct practice.
Be professional and accept responsibility for their actions.
Make a commitment to providing a quality service to their athletes.
Actively promote the positive benefits to society of participation in sport.
Contribute to the development of coaching as a profession by exchanging knowledge and ideas with others.

Follow the guidelines of UK;Athletics.
Only allow participation if there is no risk to the athlete.
Plan all sessions so they meet the needs of the athletes and are progressive and appropriate.
Maintain appropriate records of your athletes.
recognise and accept when it is appropriate to refer an athlete to another coach or specialist.
Maintain an up-to-date knowledge of technical developments in your sport.
Maintain an up-to-date knowledge and understanding of other issues that might impact on both you and your athletes.
Be aware of the social issues and how Athletics can contribute to local, regional or national initiatives.
Actively contribute to local, regional and national initiatives to improve the standards and quality of coaching in Athletics
Practice in an open and transparent fashion that encourages other coaches to contribute to or learn from your knowledge and experience.
Engage in self-analysis and reflection to identify your professional needs.
manage your lifestyle and coaching commitments to avoid burnout  that might impair your performance.
Do not assume responsibility for any role for which you are not qualified or prepared.

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