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RA announces speakers for the 2015 Rowing Australia Coaches Conference

Rowing Australia are excited to announce the following speakers for the 2015 Rowing Australia Coaches Conference – to be held at Griffith University on the Gold Coast from Friday 16 to Sunday 18 October. A full list of presenters along with a time schedule will be released in the coming weeks.

We look forward to seeing everyone on the Gold Coast in October! Please see below a selection of just of the speakers who will be featuring at the Conference, you can see the full program here

Keynote Speaker – Dr Ric Charlesworth

Olympic Silver Medallist as an athlete and dual Olympic Gold Medal winning coach for Hockey, Dr Ric Charlesworth is a legend of Australian sport. Ric captained both the Australian Hockey team and Western Australian Cricket team in the 70’s and 80’s in addition to being a doctor of medicine and spending 10 years in Federal Parliament, and coached both the Australian Mens and Womens Hockey Teams to great success. Ric has also worked as a Technical Advisor to the Indian Hockey Team, High Performance Manager for New Zealand Cricket and currently works as a High Performance Consultant to the Fremantle Dockers AFL Club and as a coach mentor to the Australian Institute of Sport.

Chris O’Brien – Rowing Australia National High Performance Director
Topic: Skills for Success: The National Technical Model

After starting his coaching career at school level in Ballarat, Chris rose to the position of Victorian Institute of Sport Head Rowing Coach, and in that time coached two Olympic Gold medal-winnings crews and an Olympic silver medal-winning crew over three Olympic Games. Following the 2012 London Olympics Chris took over from Andrew Matheson as the Rowing Australia National High Performance Director, and will be leading the Australian Rowing Team to the Rio Olympics.

Jacco Verhaeren – Swimming Australia National Head Coach
Topic: The Art of Coaching

Jacco commenced his role as National Head Coach with Swimming Australia in January 2014 after coaching in the Netherlands for 24 years and the Dutch National Swimming Team at five Olympic games including two as the Swimming Technical Director. During that time he coached several Olympic Gold and other Medallists and household names Pieter van den Hoogenband, Inge de Bruijn and Ranomi Kromowidjojo. He will be leading the Australian Swimming Team to the 2016 Rio Olympics.

Simon Cox – Rowing Australia Senior Coach
Topic: Rowing success with limited resources – the Swiss experience

Simon was the head rowing coach in Switzerland from 2008 to 2014, where he helped the European nation gain their best results since 1999 by splitting his 2012 Olympic A Finalist lightweight men’s four crew and guiding them to medals at the 2013 world titles in the pair and double-sculls. This lead to Simon being a finalist in the World Rowing Coach of the Year in 2013, and commenced in his role as Senior Coach with Rowing Australia at the start of 2015. Simon coached one of Australia’s flagship crews, the Men’s Four, to the 2015 World Rowing Championships where they claimed a silver medal.

Damien Farrow – Professor of Sports Science, Victorian University and Australian Institute of Sport (AIS)
Topic: Not all skill practice is the same

In 2002 Damien was appointed as the inaugural AIS Skill Acquisition Specialist, then became the Discipline Head of Psychology and Skill Acquisition in 2009. In this position he was responsible for research and support of coaches seeking to develop the skills of Australian athletes. He has worked with a range of AIS and National sports programs including the AFL, Cricket Australia, Tennis Australia, Netball Australia, Swimming Australia and the Australian Rugby Union.

Gordon Marcks – Rowing Australia Senior Coach – Para-rowing
Topic: Lessons able-bodied rowers can learn from Para-rowing

Gordon has coached many crews to success over his years as Australian Capital Territory Academy of Sport Head Rowing Coach, however in recent year he is most well known for having coached Australia’s Kathryn Ross and Gavin Bellis to back-to-back World Rowing Championship titles in the Mixed Trunk and Arm Double Scull. Under Marcks’ guidance Ross and Bellis won the 2013 and 2014 World Championship titles in addition to the 2014 World Rowing Para-crew of the Year and helped to ensure Australia as the number one para-rowing nation in the world.

Bob Crudington – Associate Lecturer at the University of Queensland
Topic: The coach as a learner

Bob has spent the majority of his professional life as a high performance coach and manager. Working with the AIS he was Head Coach of the Australian Women’s Softball team and led the team to bronze medals at the Atlanta and Sydney Olympic Games. In 2001 he was appointed as the High Performance Manager of Diving Australia and the AIS Diving Program in preparation for the 2004 Athens Olympic Games. Bob is an associate lecturer in Sports Coaching at the School of Human Movement and Nutrition Sciences and is currently working on a Continuing Professional Development Platform for the School which includes online courses in sports coaching and other health related subjects.

Barnaby Eaton – Rowing Australia National Talent Pathway Manager and John Bowes – First Eight Coach, Nudgee College, Queensland
Topic: The Austraian Development Pathway

Barnaby’s career in rowing has spanned many organisations and levels of success, but always with a deep and abiding interest in the nexus between curriculum development and sports education. Positions have included Director of Rowing at the Scotch College Adelaide, St Margaret’s Anglican Girls School and the Anglican Church Grammar School, High Performance Rowing Coach at the South Australian Institute of Sport, Director of Sport at the Anglican Church Grammar School and the President of Rowing Queensland.

John has been part of the coaching staff on a number of Australian Rowing Team over many years. He is the former head coach of Sydney Rowing Club, coached Nudgee College Schoolboy VIII to gold in 2015 at the Australian National Schools Championships and also coached Adam Bakker to a bronze medal at the 2015 Junior World Rowing Championships in Rio de Janeiro.

David Barracosa – Performance Psychologist, Condor Performance – Applied Sport and Performance Psychologists
Topic: A rowing coach’s guide to improving Mental Toughness

David earned full registration as a psychologist as a result of successfully completing his Batchelor of Psychology at the University of Wollongong (2008 – 2011). David began a year ago with Condor Performance as a psychologist working in performance and sport. He also works in a clinical role in the drug and alcohol sector. Condor Performance has  become the largest independent performance psychology practice in Australia and focuses on improving mental toughness via its Metuf training.