Teaming up to help coaches




All Wales

A magnificent seven are showing that teaming up can help nurture the next generation of coaches and volunteers.

And with 1,432 new sport leaders being educated between September 2012 and December 2013, the signs point towards a successful new bridge to encourage more into the Welsh sporting workforce.

The purpose is simple, to make it as easy as possible for people to help out in sport.

In late 2012, seven national governing bodies of sport in Wales partnered up with Sports Leaders UK and Sport Wales to develop a new leadership award.

The awards - seven in total for each of the organisations involved - consist of three modules; modules one and two being generic (organisation and communication) and module three being specific to that particular sport.

Sports Leaders UK is the awarding body but each governing body looks after tutor development and delivery.

The aim of the project is three-fold:

  1. To bridge the gap between multi-activity sports leadership and sports specific coaching and to encourage more people into coaching, especially young people and women and girls.
  2. To offer a sports specific route to those who are too young to start formal coaching awards (13-16 year olds) but who would like to be involved in volunteering in sport.
  3. To encourage adult volunteers who are not yet ready or do not wish to engage with a coaching pathway but want to help out with sport activities.

Sport Wales invested around £2,500 with Sports Leaders UK to write the awards for the governing bodies.

Richard Dando, Senior Officer at Sport Wales says:

"The collaboration between seven Welsh governing bodies, Sports Leaders UK and Sport Wales was the first of its kind in the UK. It means seven consistent leader awards, recognised on the qualification framework, giving young people and adults a bite size first taste of sport specific coach education.  The sport specific awards are allowing governing bodies and clubs to build their workforce capacity by creating leaders who can assist qualified coaches to deliver sport in schools and communities and help get every child hooked on sport for life."

Rob Guy, Sports Leaders UK National Manager commented:

"These new leader awards enable young people, as well as adult volunteers, to develop their sports specific leadership skills and also create a stepping stone between sports leadership and sports coaching for those that want to follow this pathway.

"Already, after one year, the results have been overwhelmingly positive and there is clear evidence that people are now starting to plan, organise and deliver activities starting from a much young age which can only help in getting every child hooked on sport for life."

Between September 2012 and December 2013, 1,432 sport specific leaders have been trained across five of the seven pilot governing bodies - Hockey Wales (468), Welsh Gymnastics (409), Badminton Wales (233), Swim Wales (189) and Welsh Netball (132). 

The majority of the leaders accessing the leader awards are from schools or clubs and have been deployed to deliver and assist activity back in schools and communities. 

Pleasingly, a number of applicants have been talent ID'd by the governing bodies and fast tracked onto UKCC Level 1 courses.

Eddie O Neill, CEO of Badminton Wales commented:

"The award has enabled us to help bring two things to badminton in secondary schools. Firstly, an opportunity to bring structure to the sessions and the clubs and, secondly, providing a chance of sustainability outside of the schools. Since Badminton is the second biggest 5x60 sport in schools, and the first to deliver the award in Wales, we saw very early how important this initiative could be. It has proven to be a real winner with many of the leaders we trained now being tempted into mainstream coaching."

And the future?

The next step is to embed these new awards into schools and clubs so that as many people as possible have access to them. The partnership will then look at demand and provision through the medium of Welsh and then look at increasing the number of tutors able to deliver these awards. This will be followed up be developing the link between these awards and the young ambassador programme.

 The Key To Success:

  • Partnership working. We are a small and clever country able to look at what is needed and then come up with a solution.
  • Continuing to embed the leadership pathway and the coaching pathway into the sporting culture in Wales.

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