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affordable coach education strategy

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15 October 2009

UKA, in partnership with the four Home Country Athletics Federations, has today confirmed that affordable coach-education programmes will be at the heart of the sport’s long-term coaching strategy.

The roll-out of the UK Coaching Certificate will be placed on hold to ensure that every aspiring coach at every level can benefit from enhanced courses that give the right blend of technical knowhow and coaching skills at the right price.

UKA has worked closely with the Home Countries, sports coach UK and the UK Members Council, which protects the interests of athletics clubs and coaches, to examine the opportunities offered by the UK Coaching Certificate.

UKA Head of Coaching and Strategy, Kevin Tyler said: “Both UKA and sports coach UK wholly believe in the fundamental principle of professionalisation of coaching. Athletics is a sport where volunteers and particularly volunteer coaches play a significant role in a large area of the sport. Therefore we need to ensure all coach education is priced accordingly.

“What we need to do is ensure a high level of quality coach education, but at a price that suits our volunteers. There is no doubt that our existing offer needs enhancing and by working with sports coach UK and the Home Countries we are on the way to doing this to ensure it is at the right price and has the right blend of technical input as well as how-to-coach guidance.

“This development will not delay any coach-education programmes as enhanced courses will continue to roll out. We will also continue consulting with sports coach UK in order to work towards an affordable alignment to the UK Coaching Certificate endorsement criteria.”

Commenting on the UKA decision, sports coach UK Implementation Director John Driscoll said: “For several years sports coach UK has been working with Governing Bodies of Sport to advance their coach-education programmes and practices with a view to helping coaches support the participants, performers and teams they are coaching. In turn, this supports the development of coaching as a profession. 

“The coach-education programmes of 24 sports are currently endorsed by the UK Coaching Certificate, some with multiple disciplines within the sport. The UK Coaching Certificate endorsement provides a clear, external indication of the achievement of coach-education quality indicators by the sport for participants, performers, parents, coaches and deployers. The introduction of the new Qualifications and Credit Framework provides an ideal opportunity for all sports to review their programmes in terms of technical content and learning/assessment approach.

“We look forward to working very closely with athletics over the next few months to ensure that coaches within the sport can benefit from relevant, cost-effective programmes at all levels which are recognised across the wider coaching industry.”