After hanging up the playing boots at Sydney Uni, Liam Winton was looking for other avenues to stay involved with the game he has loved for many years.
He found himself quickly in the coaches box, and in 2022 Western Sydney Two Blues coach Sailosi Tagicakibau took Winton under his wing, appointed as the assistant coach for the Shute Shield season.
But Winton was keen to expand his coaching knowledge, jumping at the opportunity to join the NSW Rugby Level 3 Emerging Talent Coach Program for 2022.
“I really enjoyed my time in the Level 3 course, it really forced me to think about who I wanted to be as a coach and how I wanted to do things,” Winton said.
“It also gave me an opportunity to be exposed to coaches from all levels of the game, and it was great to learn not only from Owain and the presenters, but my peers in the room.
“It created a really positive environment to think about coaching, learn about coaching and build off the ideas and knowledge from everyone who was part of the course,” he said.
Winton praised the openness of the group, saying for him it was one of the biggest learning tools.
“It was a good, open forum for discussions around ideas and areas in the game that we need to improve,” Winton said.
“I think that was one of the biggest takeaways for me, was learning how other coaches like to operate on field, and thoughts they have on specific areas of the game
“The group that we had were really open to discussions and it was a great environment to share ideas and learnings,” he said.
When it comes to the 2022/23 intake, Winton offered some words of advice for those wanting to get involved.
“You never know everything, and courses like the Level 3 are a good way of reinforcing that,” Winton said.
“It’s always good to learn and hone your craft, and be exposed to other ideas and ways of coaching.
“The Level 3 Program is great for people looking to improve their coaching - if you’re serious about coaching and your development then this is a great option for you,” he said.