Paula Bamford
20 hours ago
All aspiring coaches should read this. All employed coaches should read this and finally the coaches of champions should read this. Bill is the uncut diamond he talks about. The world could do with a few more of him. Well done Bill Begg. And by the way how about speaking to a group of dancers??
Nice to be awarded something you never even applied for. As the Sport Canterbury Coach of the month, I have to choose $250 worth of gear from Canterbury Lotto brand. They had to chop out some of my article. Unfortunately left out that Cheryl Begg was Coach of the Junior Girls, Ulla Kuepper the Juvinile Girls & Chrissy Clarke the Primary Girls for the Nationals, as part of handing over & sharing re… See More
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Sue Reisima likes this.
Bill Begg


Bill Begg
20 hours ago
Nice to be awarded something you never even applied for. As the Sport Canterbury Coach of the month, I have to choose $250 worth of gear from Canterbury Lotto brand. They had to chop out some of my article. Unfortunately left out that Cheryl Begg was Coach of the Junior Girls, Ulla Kuepper the Juvinile Girls & Chrissy Clarke the Primary Girls for the Nationals, as part of handing over & sharing responsibilities & giving other coaches the opportunity to develop.

Sport Canterbury

Lotto Coach of the Month – May 2014


Bill Begg from South Canterbury is our Lotto Sportmaker Volunteer Coach of the Month for May 2014.

Bill coaches at the South Canterbury Roller Skating Club.

Describe your current role as a coach.

We are the most southern Speed Skating club in New Zealand and come from the least populated area of all the New Zealand clubs. I am a proud South Cantabrian, leading a great group of coaches supported by a very strong club infrastructure, to create a new dynasty of champions, who can follow in the footsteps of Nicole Begg and others overseas whom I have coached.

I have a serious throat problem after years of coaching and talking loud outdoors to skaters and cyclists, so by the time I am 80 I will not have a voice, so now I let my wife Cheryl and daughter Nicole deliver the group instructions, while I observe more and do more one on one chats.

At present I am heavily into succession planning, as at 67 I will not be around forever. I put full responsibility into our other coaches for this year’s National Championships and became the observer and mentor.

In both junior and primary girls we won all New Zealand individual titles, on indoor 100 metre track, outdoor 200 metre bank track and road, we were also the dominant club in junvenile. With me only observing them it is obviously working. I coached the males and older intermediate and senior ladies, with Allan O’Connor and Brett McCormack also involved. Nicole Begg does the high level skills and technique demonstrations on skate at training sessions and is a high level coach in her own right.

Our club dominated the New Zeland scene except for senior men. We won 57% of all the New Zealand Championships throughout all the grades, Primary, Juvenile, Junior, Intermediate, Senior and Masters. Even with four pulling out of the New Zealand Oceania team to seek tougher competition in Korea, we have the most New Zealand speed representatives with Oceania and World teams for 2014.

When and how did you get into coaching skating?

First of all it was with quad skates in Timaru, when at 17 I skated for the first ever time, saw two skites and bullies pushing other skaters around while sitting outside on the Caroline Bay war memorial wall. I got a message from above that I had to learn to skate and beat these guys. The next night I started. Initially I was ridiculed by them, but won out. There was no real coach so I ended up being it – 50 years ago.

Describe your coaching philosophy? Has it changed over the years?

My dad Bill was a secretary of the Timaru Yacht Club for 17 years and died at 37 with cancer while serving as commodore, and my mother Joyce worked three jobs to bring up six children. They were great examples to me about stickability and never giving up. Apart from my parents my idols were Cassius Clay (Mohammed Ali), Nelson Mandela and Winston Churchill. I drew great inspiration from the deeds of these three people.

As Winston said, you never, never, never give up and always remember – nothing is impossible! Never give up on your athletes, everyone is an uncut diamond and has talent, you as a coach has to find the secret to unearth it. But most of all, at the end of the day no matter how tough it gets, you must never ever give up on yourself.

Do you continue to learn? How do you do this?

Yes, everyday you learn if you have an open mind and a child’s heart. I used to read a lot of PMA books, but now I learn from talking and constantly asking questions while observing other people. I may bore others at times, but I never have a dull moment myself. With the internet available to the masses anyone can find anything and see anything, so today’s coaches have no excuses for not having an answer.

What is an important aspect of coaching for you?

Generally most organisations get it wrong. The top technical coaches need to be teaching the new learners and get it right from the start, particularly when it’s a highly technical sport. The older established ones need mentors and inspirational coaching, if they have been taught correct technical skills from a young age.

When someone comes to Caroline Bay for the first time to learn to skate, my wife Cheryl or daughter Nicole, are the first person that they come into contact with and learn from. They are the best! That’s why we are successful – do other sports in New Zealand offer that?

Anything else you’d like to add?

Always follow your dreams, but not to be confused with day dreaming. They need to be dreams being acted upon by those who have vision. When my father died I heard two people very close to me say, we will have a problem with Billy, he thinks he can be the best, he has to realise he can’t be. Well you can be whatever you want to be – in later years even the Americans claimed I was the world’s top coach in our sport.

Everyone should get their dictionary and cut out two words – “Can’t” and “Impossible”.

Some of Bill’s history

The coach of 11 individuals who have won 17 world titles.

Head coach of six nations at world championships Australia 1989 and Colombia 1990 to world number one nations, also Germany, Switzerland, Indonesia and New Zealand, and assistant coach of South Africa at 2004 Worlds.

Coached youngest ever Senior World Champion, Lee Hollis, Australia, at 14 years 10 months.

Coached first ever World Inline Champion, Desly Hill, Australia 1992.

Coached World Cycling track record holder, Rod Evans – Perth 100, 200 miles, 12 hours, 24 hours and 1000km.

At one time held New Zealand records, 1500, 20000 road, 25 miles, 50 miles, 24 hours, 25km and 50km, and won New Zealand and Australian senior speed skating titles.

Represented New Zealand and two world championships – Argentina track 1975 and Italy road 1975. Represented Australia – Coach Skater 1979.

Coached Colombia Pan American Games Cuba 1991 and Argentina 1995. Won five of Colombia’s 10 gold medals in speed skating.

Trained and coached Indonesia SEA Games 2011. Indonesia won all 12 gold medals and overall top nation for first time ever.

Coached both a wife and daughter to multiple world champions and both world overall champions, 25 world championship podiums from our household!

We congratulate Bill on the wonderful volunteer coaching he does and has done and say a big thank you for helping young people improve and enjoy their sport.

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