Myanmar maximising Olympic impact with coach education

Following an historical performance at the last Olympics, Myanmar’s archery federation is capitalising on a surge in interest in the sport with a coach education programme designed to increase the availability of competent sports trainers across the country.

“We want to nurture experienced and qualified coaches for both elite and grassroots levels all over the country, as our results at the Olympics in Rio motivated athletes not only from archery but from other sports, too,” said Myanmar Olympic Committee Joint Secretary General Khin Maung.

Recurve woman Htwe San Yu finished ninth at Rio 2016. She seeded 51st, then upset Finland’s Taru Kuoppa and then US archer Mackenzie Brown before losing to London 2012 gold medallist Ki Bo Bae.

It was Myanmar’s best ever finish in the archery competition at the Olympics.

The recurve women’s place was awarded to Myanmar by the Tripartite commission, which invites six athletes to each Olympic archery event, ensuring universality among competing nations. Htwe San Yu’s success in Rio was evidence of the ability of a developing nation in the sport to potentially qualify a spot to the Games in the future, and that’s something Myanmar’s coaches are working towards.

“Even though all coaches are trying their best to become better, many of them are still missing technical knowledge and experience,” said Khin Maung Lwin.

World Archery certified coach trainer Tim Swane held a level two coaching course in Nay Pai Taw in mid-May. Funded by Olympic Solidarity, the course’s 27 participants picked up some of that expertise they were missing.

“The course was primarily made for coaches preparing archers for the Southeast Asian Games, but also for those coaching young and promising archers from institutes of sports and physical education from various regions and states in the country,” explained Khin Maung Lwin.

Those regional Games will be held in Malaysia in August 2017.

“The achievements from this course will be measured by how participants share their knowledge and experiences in their clubs and respective institutes of sports and physical education.”

With Htwe San Yu’s top-10 finish at the Rio Olympics and a plan going forward, Myanmar’s next international success might not be so much of a surprise.

Olympic Solidarity funding is available to World Archery member associations through their National Olympic Committees. For more information, advice on applying for funding or to discuss available development programmes, contact World Archery’s development department.

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