The coach recruitment process is complete! We now have 24 new Skillz 1.1
coaches—an incredibly energetic, passionate group (see above). I’m so excited to get to know them better and watch them in
action in the classroom! The group
includes a wonderful mixture of young people. Some are 18 or 19 years old and fresh out of high school. Others are in their 20s with a range of
volunteer, work, and soccer experience.
During the group interviews, a number of the coaches described ways in
which they have been personally affected by HIV.
It wasn’t easy narrowing down the 130 applicant pool to 20
(as you can see, we decided to take 24).
Our requirements were basic: applicants needed to be between the ages of
18 and 26, in possession of a high school diploma, and have an ability to read
and write in English. We first
screened all the resumes and application forms. The application forms asked a number of questions related to
educational, volunteer, and employment experience, in addition to open-ended
questions such as “Do you see yourself as a positive role model for others? If
so, why?” I found the open-ended
questions to be most useful in revealing personality and reasons for wishing to
become a Skillz coach.
We selected 50 applicants to interview. During interviews, we considered the
thoughtfulness of responses, public-speaking abilities, reasons for wishing to
join, and previous experience and interest in HIV and sport. Ultimately, we looked at the entire
person and tried to figure out whether they would be a good fit. By interviewing 50 people, we were able
to select only the one-two stand-outs from each interview group. My biggest factors for selection
were passion for GRS’ HIV-prevention work and eagerness to become a Skillz
coach. Our interview team of staff and interns agreed on the majority of stand-outs but needed to negotiate once we had selected about 15 coaches. We all ended up being very pleased with the process. Our GRS office in Cape Town told us that we had likely held the most competitive coach selection process in the history of GRS!
The coaches participated in an orientation last Thursday and
began their Skillz 1.1 TOC (Training of Coaches) this week. During the TOC, the coaches are fully
trained on how to deliver our Skillz 1.1 core curriculum in primary
schools. Our Master Coach, Tumi,
is leading the TOC with Mr. D from the curriculum team in Cape Town who
assisted in running our last TOC in November. The rest of us staff/interns have been busy pulling together
all sorts of odds and ends this week, ranging from conducting background checks
for the new coaches to buying materials for the coaches’ “kits”—bags we provide
with all essentials the coaches need to work in schools, including a clipboard,
stopwatch, whistle, 2 soccer balls, scissors, tape, pump, flip-chart paper, and
laminated cards for specific lessons.
In particular, we’ve been focusing a lot of finalizing school
recruitment since we are hoping that our coaches will begin delivering
interventions next week (wk of Feb 13th)—more to come on that