Meet the Interns: Amanda Murphy, Athletics, New Zealand

Meet the Interns

Name: Amanda Murphy

"[The WCIP] … will prepare me for future coaching opportunities at this level and give me a chance to connect with other women coaches at the same stage as me and from multiple sports and countries.”

Sport: Athletics

Mentor Coach: Dale Stevenson, Athletics New Zealand High Performance Lead Coach (Throws)

Country: New Zealand

Games Role: The WCIP will give Amanda first-hand experience of what is required of a coach at a multisport event. She will be mainly shadowing her mentor and could step into roles such as accompanying an athlete to a training session.

Current Occupation: High Performance Assistant Coach (Throws)

Athletic Background: Amanda’s involvement with Rugby Union and javelin began at the age of five. She competed in javelin for two years in her early teens before concentrating on Rugby Union. She was attracted to both sports because of her ability and enjoyed success early. She played for the Black Ferns in 2009 and 2011, Canterbury for five seasons, and South Canterbury for four seasons. During her Rugby Union career, Amanda was inspired by those who had worn the jersey before her and driven by wanting to be the best. After retiring at 27, she resumed competing in javelin, attracted by the self-sufficiency after many years in a team sport.

Coaching: Amanda worked as a strength and conditioning coach for six years and coached Rugby Union while playing. She also taught sport and exercise prescription programs. “It seemed natural to want to coach sport, the thing I love most.” During her athletics career, she decided to help others out by coaching throws when her schedule permitted. As her athletics career was eventually hampered by injury, she decided to pursue a more formal role within coaching. Her goal was supported by Athletics New Zealand, lead throw coach Dale Stevenson, national performance coach-javelin Debbie Strange, and Emily Nolan, coach education. She notes that sports are typically male dominant and run by a ‘boy’s club’ that won’t always listen and may undermine women’s opinions and ideas.

Amanda aspires to create an environment when athletes can fully express themselves, to give athletes a chance to reach their full potential in their event, to always keep learning or leave, and to take an athlete from development to international medallist. 

Education:

Athletics Coach Accreditation (Athletics Australia)

Bachelor of Applied Science

Bachelor of Sport and Exercise Science

Importance of the WCIP: “It means a great opportunity to provide me with experience within a major event with multiple sports and so will prepare me for future coaching opportunities at this level and give me a chance to connect with other women coaches at the same stage as me and from multiple sports and countries.” Amanda believes mentoring is extremely important in all areas of her life as is networking. She taps into workshops and groups forums in order to stay connected.

After Gold Coast: Amanda will continue to work with Dale to coach the throws squad in Christchurch. She plans to implement her learning from the WCIP into the upcoming world junior championships. She will continue her development through the NZ Sport Performance Advance program and will share her knowledge and experience with the program’s multisport coaches. She will be set up as a carded coach, giving her access to a local coach consultant who will assist with post-Games support. She has the attitude, passion, and characteristics to develop into a world-class throws coach and the WCIP will be a key part of her development.

Commonwealth Connections: “The Commonwealth Sport Movement is a chance to showcase multiple sports, including non-funded sports, on the international scene. It provides an intimate opportunity for athletes to express themselves, wearing their national colours, and bonded by the ties of the Commonwealth. Being a coach at the 2018 Commonwealth Games means taking advantage of opportunities to fulfil a dream that is just beginning.”

 

Meet the Mentors

Name:  Dale Stevenson

[The WCIP] “will be a great opportunity for my assistant coach, Amanda Murphy, to further her professional development … ”

Sport: Athletics

Country: New Zealand

Current Occupation: Athletics New Zealand High Performance Lead Coach (Throws)

Athletic History: A former elite shot-putter, Dale competed for Australia at the 2012 Olympic Games, the 2012 world indoor championships, and the 2010 Commonwealth Games., where he won the bronze medal in shot put.

Coaching History: Dale is on the High Performance Sport New Zealand Coach Accelerator Programme. He was a primary school teacher in Melbourne, Australia, after retiring from competing and received an offer to get into coaching in 2014. He relocated to Christchurch, New Zealand, with his wife to take on the role of Lead Throws Coach.

Education:

Bachelor of Education (Honours), Monash University

Bachelor of Sport and Outdoor Recreation (Distinction), Monash University

Importance of the WCIP: “It will be a great opportunity for my assistant coach, Amanda Murphy, to further her professional development as it will give her exposure to the mechanics of a major championship, different coaching styles, and a multisport environment.” He describes the role of the mentor “to light a fire within the intern and then leave.”

“Athletics has a high number of successful women coaches, but they are still outnumbered by men. Sport is often the domain of alpha-males, sometimes limiting two-way communication between different personality types.”

Commonwealth Connections: “The Commonwealth Games played an important role in my development into coaching as it was a stepping stone to bigger events such as the world championships and Olympic Games. My first Commonwealth Games as a coach will be enjoyable; I look forward to the challenge.”