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uk athletics announce coaching code of practice working group 

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23 October 2017 


As part of its ongoing core strategy to achieve excellent standards of governance in sport, UK Athletics has announced the creation of a working group to create a robust and relevant Coaching Code of Practice.

When completed, the UK Athletics code will be introduced across the full range of coaching activities, from elite performance to grassroots. It will draw upon the strengths of a number of existing codes, whilst recognising the unique multi-discipline nature of athletics and will be created through the input of a number of key individuals with expertise in this area.

The overall process will be led by the UK Athletics Board Performance Oversight Committee; Dr Sarah Rowell, Anne Wafula Strike and David Bedford.

The working group on the project also includes:

·         David Bunyan – UKA’s High Performance Coach Development Manager

·         Iain Brunnschweiler – Strategic Lead for Talent at UK Coaching

·         Diccon Edwards – UK Sport Head of Coach Development

·         Aston Moore – UKA’s Senior National Performance institute Coach

As well as analysing existing conduct policy documents within sport and coaching the group will also consider team conduct codes and professional codes utilised by sports science staff with an aim to formulate an exemplar best practice policy

Following formulation, the proposed policy will then be shared for feedback through coaching groups and athletes – with the recently formed Athlete Commission also providing a crucial sounding board.

Dr Sarah Rowell, UK Athletics Board member said:

“The Performance Oversight Committee are delighted to be able to undertake this task on behalf of UK Athletics and the wider sport.

“There are many codes of conducts and polices in existence outlining behavioural and value requirements in sporting professions. Some valuable work has already been undertaken in this area that we will be drawing upon it to collate what we hope will be considered the template for best practice.

“However we will also be considering what makes our sport unique, the variations in coaching set-ups and the differing natures of our many event disciplines. It would not be right to simply lift a template from another sport or organisation without ensuring it fits the sport of athletics.”

Mark Gannon, UK Coaching CEO said “UK Coaching welcomes the development of an updated code of practice for coaches working within UK athletics pathways.

“It is vital that coaches understand their responsibilities to the person in front of them, and to the sport as a whole, when delivering coaching support to athletes in any stage of the pathway.

“We look forward to continuing to have a positive input into this process, to ensure that good practice is consistently delivered, and that the wellbeing and welfare of everyone involved within the developmental and performance pathways is considered the highest priority.”

Liz Nicholl, UK Sport CEO, said: “UK Sport fully supports the development of the Coaching Code of Practice within UK Athletics.

“While there are already a number of existing codes in place to protect our athletes, it is important to continuously adapt to the unique nature of the sport. 

“The Coaching Code of Practice, and those responsible for delivering it, will further ensure that athletes from grassroots level through to elite level will receive the correct level of care and coaching.”

The working group have commenced work on the project and are aiming to consult with groups within the sport in the coming months.