Coaching in the UK

Sports coaching can change society

Mon, 07 Mar 2016

Sports coaching in Britain needs to be transformed to better serve the nation’s diverse communities and help reduce fears about injury in sport.

Coaching is an underused and powerful tool, which has huge potential to improve society on many levels.

Following extensive research into the future of coaching, sports coach UK, the UK’s technical agency for coaching, is today calling for thousands more of us to get involved in this life changing activity.

Gillian Wilmot, the organisation’s new Chair, believes a lack of focus on coaching has for too long resulted in a missed opportunity to engage with different communities that would benefit on a number of levels, from coaching and from being coached. 

Improved public awareness about good coaching practice can also help address recent concerns about injuries in sport such as rugby.

Gillian, the first business woman to be appointed as Chair of sports coach UK, said: “We need greater diversity in coaching – more women and ethnic minorities. Britain’s current coaches are doing a great job but we need more of them and a greater diversity - the balance has to change. All the organisations involved need to work together to drive this shift.

“Everyone recognises the benefits of good coaching within competitive sport, but it has a much wider role to play. The right coaching can genuinely improve individual lives, both for the coach, the people being coached and the communities they live in.

“Good coaching, properly applied, has the potential both to take pressure off the NHS through creating a physically and mentally healthier population, and to help combat social problems.

“For this reason we want more coaches and we are making the path to becoming a coach much easier.”

“There has been a big debate recently about sports such as rugby being too dangerous for children in the current way they’re played. We know how much work the Governing Bodies and other specialist organisations have put into this area over the years. We firmly believe the right kind of coaching can improve safety and reduce injuries, so it’s critical that the good practice which has been developed is highlighted and widely shared.”

Through its new strategy, sports coach UK is spearheading a campaign to make this happen. Key areas to be addressed include a serious shortfall in the number of women coaches and the current growth in informal sport, exercise and activity.

Gillian Wilmot commented: “To make change happen, we need to move coaching centre stage and ensure its potential is fully realised. Coaches should be recognised as being at the heart of great sport and physical activity, leading to a more successful, healthier and active nation. They are also at the vanguard of protecting younger generations from injury and keeping sport challenging, but safe.

“We firmly believe that increasing the number and diversity of coaches can help change lives and re-engage thousands of people who are currently not involved.

 “Our research shows coaching can also help reduce anti-social behaviour and help improve lives across the board.”

Add to My Folder