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UK Centre For Coaching Excellence

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3 July 2008





The United Kingdom’s aim to be the leading coaching nation in the world by 2016 came a step closer today as Minister for Sport Gerry Sutcliffe announced the UK Centre for Coaching Excellence in sport and disability sport will be based at Leeds Metropolitan University.

The Centre will be the first of its kind in the United Kingdom and will benefit up-and-coming coaches in a wide range of sports to help them reach the top and help drive a legacy of sporting success for British athletes.


sports coach UK and Leeds Met -  known in sporting circles as Carnegie - will work in partnership to establish the Centre that has received start-up funding of £600,000 from UK Sport and Sport England. It is also being backed by sportscotland, Sports Council for Wales and Sport Northern Ireland.


sports coach UK is to recruit a world-class Coaching Faculty that will pass on their expertise to coaches and ensure that the UK Centre for Coaching Excellence is on par with international best practice.  A UK-wide network of coaching experts, sports science and medical experts will also be established to support training and coach education throughout the country.


As well as benefiting elite-sport coaches the Centre will also offer training to community coaches to improve the quality of the sport experience for all, and help identify potential British sport stars of the future. 


The UK Coaching Centre for Excellence will focus on four areas of development:


  • High Performance: for coaches of athletes capable of achieving success at international level

  • Performer Development: for coaches that will focus on talent identification and development of young athletes 

  • Participation: for coaches working in community sport, helping to increase sport participation 

  • Children’s coaches: for coaches that will work specifically with young people at each stage of their early development in sport.

Minister for Sport Gerry Sutcliffe said: “Behind every great athlete is a great coach and we want to ensure that we have the best sports coaches and coaching system in the world both at the elite end and grass roots.  The UK Centre for Coaching Excellence will be vital in helping us realise that ambition.  We want to develop a more professional approach to coaching in the UK with it becoming a real career option for people like it is in the United States.”


sports coach UK Chairman and coach to London Wasps and the British Lions Ian McGeechan said: “Today’s announcement is another clear marker that the coaching landscape in the UK is changing to ensure that we will be developing active, skilled and qualified coaches to the highest level right across the spectrum of coaching. In the future, it will be possible for Children’s Coaches to achieve Level 4 or Master Coach status, as well as those working in High Performance; Performance Development and Participation.”


sports coach UK CEO Pat Duffy said: “sports coach UK is looking forward to working with Leeds Met Carnegie, the Governing Bodies, and each of the Home Countries, to commence the start-up of the UK Centre for Coaching Excellence. The work of the Centre will play a key role in developing a world-leading coaching system in the UK by 2016.”


Leeds Met Chancellor Brendan Foster said: “We are delighted that Leeds Met has been selected to host the UK Centre for Coaching Excellence and that, finally, an organisation is being set up that proudly and firmly places coaching in its rightful place at the centre of British sport.  We've had great sportsmen and sportswomen in Britain over the years who have achieved success with the guidance of great coaches. It is a demonstration of real foresight to now formalise the organisation whose mission is to produce great coaches and, in turn, increase the chances of Britain’s success in the increasingly competitive arena of world sport.”


Leeds Met Vice-Chancellor Professor Simon Lee said: “Carnegie has a 75 year history of commitment to coaching, typified by one of our very first students, Walter Winterbottom, who created the FA’s pioneering coaching system. In this century, we are increasingly well known for our radical approach to sporting partnerships and our engagement with diverse communities. Coaching and working in partnership are the essence of Leeds Met Carnegie so we relish the opportunity of working with sports coach UK and all interested parties throughout the UK to reach a sustainable world-leading position by 2016 as part of the legacy of London 2012 and Glasgow 2014.”