ICU Training Programme for Coaches

Jonathan O'Connor

This article part of the series: ICU Bulletins 2011-12 - 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18

The Executive of the Irish Chess Union (ICU) was concerned that there has been no system of official recognition of chess coaches. Accordingly it was decided to set up 3 titles for trainers: School Instructor, Club Instructor and Academy Instructor. These titles are seen as a stepping stone to higher level FIDE trainer titles.

The first of these courses was given by Kevin O’Connell, and covered two sessions in October and September 2003. A total of 36 coaches attended. The second and most recent course was again presented by Kevin O'Connell FST in June 2011. A total of 26 coaches attended, and all passed the final exam.

The ICU was been advised by the appropriate police authorities (Garda and PSNI) that it would not be possible to carry out a comprehensive reference check on the individual coaches, and that as a minimum, guidelines should be established for working with children, and to recommend against one to one scenarios when children were concerned. References should also be obtained for each individual.

The ICU has since developed a Code of ethics and Good Practice for the involvement and protection of children in chess. This is still a working document in draft, and a shortened version will be produced in time. All coaches that have taken the training course, have been asked to agree in principle to abide by these guidelines (those that have returned application forms indicated that they will do so are marked under the ‘Code’ column below). It should be noted that the ICU is not responsible for any actions of, and methods used by the coaches and that they act independently of the ICU.

Training Sessions

Ref. Training Coach Date Venue
1 Kevin O’Connell Oct. & Sept. 2003 Dublin
2 Kevin O’Connell June 2011 Dublin


Ref. Coach name Code Address Contacts Geographic area Areas of chess coached Coaching method Photo
2 Abberton, Eamonn Castlebar, Co. Mayo Mayo All aspects of the game of chess from opening to endgame use demo board, problem solving, internet chess teaching site
2 Alfred, John
2 Buckley, Brendan
2 Carey, Paul
2 Collins, Tom
2 Considine, Stephen
2 Coughlan, Terence
2 Cummins, Ron
2 Delaney, Rory
2 Doyle, Peter
2 Duffy, Seamus yes 21 Bromley Court, Glebemount, Wicklow Town 087 3141029; Wicklow I will be available to give chess lessons in Schools or to individuals. I will cover all aspects of the game from openings to endgames, tactics, analysis of games. In person
Seamus Duffy
2 Foley, Tony Yes
2 Glegolski, Cezary
Cezary Glegolski
2 Halpenny, Seamus
2 Lyons, Brendan
2 Magee-Lovric, Barbara
2 McCabe, Darren
2 McHugh, Brendan
2 Moran, Stephen
2 O'Muireagain, Colm
2 O'Reilly, P.J.
2 Osborne, James yes
James Osborne
2 Osborne, Sam
2 Polimac, Darko Yes 086 162 9415; Ireland Individual and group chess lessons, special programs for rating categories, coaching adults and children In person and online via skype
Darko Polimac
2 Smith, Gerry

Coaches listed above should contact the ICU to have any of the above information changed or added to.

Trainer Profiles

Mr Kevin O'Connell FIDE Senior Trainer

Irish representative to FIDE, Kevin has an unusually broad coaching experience in the UK, both individual and team, of all ages and levels, from pre-school beginners up to adult internationals of pensionable age and back again from adult novices to junior internationals of primary school age, extending over more than 30 years.

He has provided informal advice, as a friend, to two World Championship candidates and helped propel three children from the same street in Ipswich to represent England in world age-group championships (including a World Under-18 title). He also has a lot of experience at lower (and lowest) levels.

Kevin also has a relevant degree - in 1995-97 he took an MSc (awarded with distinction) in Sports Science at the University of Essex - as he wanted to have the scientific background in addition to practical experience. He anticipated that he would one day run a course for potential coaches and, in 1998-99 gained the City & Guilds certificate for Teaching Practice Stage One (a credit towards the Further and Adult Education Teachers' Certificate).

Created 2012-02-16 ◦ Last updated 2014-07-23 ◦ Editor SLC

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