Coaching in the UK

UK Coaching Statement: Athlete Welfare

Fri, 13 Oct 2017

In response to recent media coverage of bullying in elite sport, UK Coaching, the national charity with a mission to put coaching at the heart of physical activity and sport, has re-affirmed its position on athlete welfare:

UK Coaching has the highest regard for the welfare of both athlete and coach and considers this an absolute priority. Coaches have a responsibility to put the welfare of their participants first.

The UK Coaching Code of Practice for Sports Coaches outlines what constitutes best coaching practice.

Coaches who abide by the Code will create healthy, positive environments for participants to thrive in, developing skills and fitness and building lifelong connections to keeping active – whatever their performance level.

Coaches must develop a relationship with their participants (and others) based on openness, honesty, mutual trust and respect. Part of this is a coach’s responsibility not to engage in behaviour that constitutes any form of abuse, whether that is physical, sexual, neglect, emotional or bullying.

To ensure welfare is at the heart of the UK Coaching Awards, UK Coaching appointed Professor David Lavallee, the first Professor of Duty of Care in Sport, to the event judging panel. UK Coaching is also in liaison with the British Athletes Commission to ensure the athletes’ voice is heard in this process.

Mark Gannon, Chief Executive Officer of UK Coaching, said: “Coaching can transform lives and the benefits go much wider than learning or honing skills in sport and physical activity. Coaching can have positive benefits on physical and mental wellbeing and can act as a conduit for individual and social development.

“The need for coaches to understand and act on their responsibilities is vital, as is the need to promote participation for fun and enjoyment.

“We will continue to promote the hugely positive benefits that the vast majority of coaches deliver to millions of people across the UK.”

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