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OTTAWA — Amateur football coaches are now required to get “Safe Contact trained” in the latest safe blocking and tackling techniques, Football Canada announced today. This coaching requirement was unanimously approved at the 2015 Football Canada planning meetings held mid-January in Toronto. Also approved in January was the requirement for all coaches to take the e-learning module “Making Head Way in Football” available through coach.ca.
“Football Canada and its member provincial organizations are committed to the safety of our athletes,” said Richard MacLean, President of Football Canada.
“That’s why it is vitally important that our coaches be equipped to teach the football fundamentals taught in Safe Contact.”
An integral part of Football Canada’s National Coaching Certification Program (NCCP), Safe Contact teaches safe tackling techniques that emphasizes making contact with the chest and front shoulder and not the head.
It emphasizes a blocking technique that stresses making primary contact with the hands.
All amateur teams and clubs that fall under Football Canada’s umbrella now have until March 31, 2016 to have their head coaches and half of their assistant and position coaches Safe Contact trained.
They have until March 31, 2017 to have their remaining coaches Safe Contact trained.
Any new coach has a year from the time he or she first steps on the field as a coach.
For the past year, Football Canada has teamed up with the Canadian Football League (CFL) to expand and improve the Safe Contact program as part of a shared commitment to player health and safety.
Almost 4,000 coaches across the country have already completed Safe Contact since the development of the NCCP module in 2009.
“The response from these coaches has been overwhelmingly positive,” MacLean said.
“They understand our game has to be as safe as it can be for it to be as strong as it can be.”
A coach can become Safe Contact trained by following three easy steps:
1. Take the online course “Making Head Way in Football”, an e-learning module available through www.coach.ca’s “the locker”
2. Register for a Safe Contact clinic through his or her provincial amateur football association or by visiting www.SafeContact.ca
3. Attend a Safe Contact clinic, which typically spans eight hours taught over one or two days, usually on a weekend.
This information is currently being shared with coaches through their provincial organizations.
“Our coaches deserve our thanks because our youth derive so many benefits from playing the great game of football,” MacLean said.
“They also deserve our help, including training in the most effective, and safest techniques. That’s what Safe Contact is all about.”
The Coaching Association of Canada (CAC) is supportive of Football Canada’s commitment to safety education for its coaches.
“The importance for coaches and trainers to be educated about the proper fundamentals of Safe Contact cannot be understated,” said Alain Roy, Director of Education Partnerships at the CAC.
“We encourage more sport organizations to mandate similar training for their coaches as part of their National Coaching Certification Program education.”