Robert Ratcliffe, the High Performance Junior Coach at Crown Isle Resort in Courtenay, has been named Team BC’s Head Golf Coach for the 2013 Canada Summer Games set to take place Aug. 2-17 in Sherbrooke, Que.
Originally from South Africa, Ratcliffe became a certified PGA instructor in the United Kingdom before moving to Canada. Formerly holding the position of Women’s Head Coach for Alberta, Ratcliffe made his move to British Columbia and continued to develop his coaching skills. No stranger to accolades, Robert was named the PGA of BC Teacher of the Year in 2009 as well as being named the inaugural PGA of BC Coach of the Year in 2011. Ratcliffe is also the current Team Canada Men’s National Assistant Coach.
Debbie Pyne, Managing Director of Player Development for British Columbia Golf, expressed her thoughts on the hiring. “Robert will bring a depth of coaching knowledge to our Team BC program. His experience of coaching at the national level will have a positive impact for our players vying to be on the 2013 Canada Summer Games team for British Columbia,” stated Pyne.
Ratcliffe could hardly contain his excitement regarding his recent position hiring. “I am very excited. I am really looking forward to working with the B.C. players,” said Ratcliffe.
“It’s a great opportunity for me and my development as a coach. Obviously we have a lot to live up to compared to the 2009 Games. I am confident with the calibre of golfers being developed in British Columbia. We are going to be a strong team.”
The team who represented British Columbia at the 2009 Canada Summer Games saw unbelievable levels of success, winning both girls’ and boys’ team gold medals as well as individual gold medals in both categories.
When asked about the 2009 performance, Pyne was forthcoming. “British Columbia Golf had an extremely strong showing at the inaugural Canada Summer Games in 2009. With Robert’s expertise in developing a strong training program, the lead up to the 2013 Games is vital to our continued success.”
“We hope to retain our team title,” stated Ratcliffe. “The team goals are definitely number one. Outside of that, it is going to be tough to top the 2009 performance but with the bar set very high, we will certainly try.”
Ratcliffe takes the reins of Team BC immediately and has wasted no time in getting the ball rolling.
“The selection process is ongoing and evolving. We are starting with 12 to 15 players through different means of identification that have already started and will continue through the 2012 competitive season in British Columbia,” mentioned Ratcliffe.
“Over the course of 2012 we are going to run a number of camps, the first being in June, and will also be watching them during specific tournaments. The goal is to have the final team of three boys and three girls selected by the end of 2012 and begin training early 2013.”
With the selection process already in the works, Ratcliffe plans on implementing his long-range coaching plan over an 18-month period. “We will be looking at everything from technique, fitness and conditioning to the different mental aspects of the game,” said Ratcliffe.
The Canada Games, alternating between Winter and Summer sports every two years, are a multi-sport event that seek to promote healthy living among young people and leave behind an important infrastructure, sports and social legacy for the host region. British Columbia Golf is a firm believer in the Games and how they fit into the Long Term Player Development guide for golf in Canada.
“The Canada Summer Games showcases the best athletes in Canada,” stated Pyne. “It is important that our players have every opportunity to perform at the highest level. The coach is a very integral piece to these athletes development and in Robert we have a coach who can take us to the next level.”
– British Columbia Golf