NATIONAL Under-21 team coach Winston Nevers was among the first graduates of the University of Technology (UTech) and Jamaica Netball Association (JNA) Advanced Level One Coaching Certification Course.
At a presentation of their certificates at the Technology Innovation Centre (TIC) at the institution's Papine campus yesterday, Alicia Watson was named Most Outstanding Student in a group, which also included former Sunshine Girl Sasher-Gaye Henry and International Netball Federation umpire Dalton Hinds.
"This was not an easy task because we had a lot of work to do," the St Ann-based Watson told reporters after the ceremony. "I spent a lot of time and invested a lot of effort."
Henry, who works as a physical education teacher and coach of Mona High School's netball team, told the Jamaica Observer that it was important to continue laying a foundation as well as improve on the already acquired skills even as she experiences the differences between being a coach and a player.
"As a coach there are always areas that you can learn and move on to make yourself much better," she said. "It's a lot different because you are the one giving the instructions to the players. You're the one giving them the feedback that they need. You're the one that will now provide the training that they need so it's much different than being a player."
JNA president, Marva Bernard, noted that more than 200 coaches islandwide make up the local netball programme and will need to be certified.
"This is something we have been working on for the past three years and to see it really happen is a dream come true. It is something we want to do. We must do," she said.
IFNA president, Jamaican Molly Rhone, who was guest speaker at the function, said she was pleased that a country which has been in the top five of the world since the World Championships and World netball rankings were instituted is finally moving towards getting its coaches properly certified.
"I would say it's probably late for Jamaica because Jamaica has produced such a high standard of play, but also Jamaica has also had some very good coaches," she noted.