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Taking it further

Things are changing in the coaching field.

The government took a lead by setting up a Coaching Task Force to look at how to improve the development, employment and deployment of coaches.

And, following the task force's report in 2002, 28m has been allocated to the development and introduction of a UK Coaching Certificate (UKCC), 45 Coach Development Officers (CDOs) and a Community Sports Coaches Scheme (CSCS).

The funding will be to support the development and implementation of the UKCC across 31 national governing bodies of sport in England, and the introduction of 45 new CDOs across England and the introduction of the CSCS.

But it's not likely to be until late 2006 until these changes come into full effect.

At present, every sport has different paths into coaching.

To become a qualified coach in a sport, you'll need to take the coaching qualifications offered by the national governing body of that sport.

You can find contact details for governing bodies either through our What's Your Game guides or from the links listed at the bottom of this page.

Gentle introduction

You could start by contacting sports coach UK (scUK).

Sports coach UK looks after the development of coaching and coaches at every level and offers a comprehensive range of services to coaches from all sports.

The 1st4sport Award in Coaching Studies offers generic areas of study linked to coaching principles and coaching practice.

Orientation to Coaching

Some sports offer orientation to coaching courses, primarily for parents and teachers.

Orientation to coaching courses are recognised, but do not lead to a coaching qualification.

The courses aim to give participants a first exposure to coaching information and duties.

Content is directed at children's sport and covers basic sport skills, group organisation, planning, child development, safety aspects, modified games and activities and administration of junior programs.

On the run

To illustrate the types of coaching options available in individual sports, here's a look at the first steps towards becoming an Athletics coach.

There are three introductory qualifications available:

Level 1

  • Which insures the coach to assist in sessions.
  • Children in Athletics which insures the coach to lead athletic activities with soft play equipment
  • Fitness in Running and Walking - insures coach to lead fitness-based activities.

    From these three initial qualifications, a taster into coaching is provided and the new coach can develop skills and confidence with the assistance of other more experienced individuals.

    Then there is the option to progress to higher levels of award.

    Coaches qualified through UK Athletics are insured to coach the activities in which they are qualified and all coaches are required to sign up to a code of conduct 'The Responsible Athletics Coach'.

    CRB checks are also currently being set up for all registered coaches.

    Coaches are encouraged to operate through athletics clubs as these provide a hub for much athletics activity that occurs throughout the year.

    Further information regarding these coaching courses can be obtained from the UK Athletics website or:

    UK Athletics
    Education & Training
    10 Harborne Road
    B15 3AA

    Remember, there are plenty of other ways you can get involved in coaching, so even if athletics isn't your thing, you can definitely find something that is.

    Getting in touch with sports


    The Sports Gateway page on Sport England's website provides a user-friendly searchable database of over 6,000 sporting contacts and 4,000 sports facilities and sports club web links.


    The Scottish Sports website provides links to the sites for almost every sport and governing body within Scotland.


    The Sports Council for Wales website is the best place to start for links to governing bodies in Wales.

    Northern Ireland

    Likewise, the Sports Council for Northern Ireland website has links to all the governing bodies for sport in Northern Ireland.

    Disabled sport

    The English Federation of Disability Sport aims to expand sporting opportunities for disabled people and actively increase the number of disabled people involved in sport.

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  • Sport boosts kids' esteem, keeps them healthy, teaches them teamwork. And lets them dream.
    - A Heaton, rugby coach and father


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