Johnson set for key role in coaching conference

19/02/2013,  TSPL, Scotsman,RBS  Six Nations Rugby, Scotland team announcement for Scotland's RBS Six Nations game against Ireland at Murrayfield Stadium on Sunday. Scotland coach Scott Johnson.   Picture Ian Rutherford
19/02/2013, TSPL, Scotsman,RBS Six Nations Rugby, Scotland team announcement for Scotland's RBS Six Nations game against Ireland at Murrayfield Stadium on Sunday. Scotland coach Scott Johnson. Picture Ian Rutherford

Scotland rugby coach Scott Johnson headlines the fifth Borders Coaching Conference in Galashiels later this month.

The Australian will take on the role of keynote speaker, following in the footsteps of Olympic medallists Steve Backley and Duncan Goodhew.

Australian Johnson has spent more than 14 years in coaching, including roles with the Wallabies, US Eagles and Welsh side The Ospreys.

He joined Scotland’s coaching staff last year and was given the top job temporarily when Andy Robinson resigned after a defeat to Tonga.

After earning Scotland two wins in the Six Nations and a third-place spot, Johnson was named director of rugby and will also continue as head coach until Vern Cotter takes over next year.

Johnson said: “It is vital that coaches across the country come together and learn from each other and from developments across the world.

“None of us has all the answers, but if we are smart, we can learn some more that improves us and our teams.”

A question and answer session with Johnson will be followed by expert-led workshops across seven sports – athletics, cycling, football, hockey, rugby, swimming and tennis.

Ex-Hibs manager John Collins, highly-rated Hearts youth coach Darren Murray and Scottish Hockey’s national performance coach David Stott are among those leading the afternoon sessions.

Ewan Jackson, chief executive of Borders Sport & Leisure which is behind the conference, said: “Last year more than 100 delegates attended and we hope that even more people involved in sport will choose to come along this time.

“The specialist sporting sessions are being hosted by some of the country’s leading coaches and this event provides a rare opportunity for people involved in sport in the Borders to learn from the best in the business.”

The conference takes place on Sunday, September 22, at Heriot-Watt University’s Netherdale Campus. To book a place, visit www.bslt.org.uk.

Meanwhile, around 170 children took part in the first free Sport Saturday event held at the rebranded Queen’s Leisure Centre in Galashiels.

Tutored by qualified coaches, the children were given the chance to try out a selection of different sports.

Mr Jackson added: “We will be using the Queen’s Leisure Centre to offer a new approach to coached activities for children with a programme running throughout the school term.”