The IAAF Coaches Education and Certification System Level 1 course has been hosted by Athletics Cook Islands (ACI) at the CISNOC offices and Miller said it is important for the growth of the sport that the Cook Islands continues to grow its coaches.
Track and Field Club Rarotonga members Ruth Horton and Erin Tierney, alongside ACI coach Harmon Harmon, Tristan Brotherton, Teaea Parima and Ua Savage all passed the Level 1 course, which took place over 10 days.
Miller said the course focused on teaching participants not just about athletic skills, but also how to deliver content to their athletes.
“A lot of our guys here taking part in the course have experience in coaching or as an athlete, but for some of them they have picked up some techniques to help reinforce how they deliver it to their athletes,” said Miller.
A former Olympic, Commonwealth Games and South Pacific Games representative, Miller said that one thing remained constant throughout his days as both an athlete and a coach – the importance of learning the basics.
“We have to ensure that our coaches are able to teach the basics – run, jump and throw.
“It is not just crucial for our athletes to be able to grasp the basics, but if you look at other sports they all involve those basics of running, jumping and throwing.”
The importance of having a strong culture between a coach and their athletes is something Miller said he has seen grow over the years.
“Nowadays you have a lot more distractions for the young athletes,” he says. “Back when I was an athlete, coming to training was something I and a lot of others would look forward to, and that is certainly one of the main challenges our coaches face, in any sport these days.
“In particular throughout the Pacific, we need to be laying down the foundations to keep our athletes in the sport for the long-term, but in reality we are fighting against a lot of other factors.”
Miller said that in his home of Fiji the challenge remains to keep some of the country’s best sprinters involved in athletics instead of rugby sevens, which has grabbed a number of potential Commonwealth and Olympic representatives over the years.
Expect to see Miller at the track on Tuesday for the National Athletics Championships, where he says he will be looking forward to seeing what changes his course participants will have implemented with their athletes.