Coaching in the UK

UK Coaching Summit 2016

Thu, 09 Jun 2016

‘Coaching is business critical’ was the theme of sports coach UK’s 2016 Summit at the Hilton Deansgate in Manchester June 7  - 8.

The keynote speakers and workshops over the two-day event focused on the need for coaching to embrace change. Innovation and astute use of technology will be vital in successful delivery of coaching to an audience whose needs and demands are shifting.

Few better illustrated this point than opening speaker Barry McNeill, whose company Catapult Sports develops wearable technology to give intricate player performance data. He spoke of the importance of coaches being ‘thought leaders’, comparing it to his tech business, which aims to ‘finds the gaps, and educate customers, rather than exploiting them.’

A different perspective on change was offered by Liz Dimmock and Monica Relph. Their organisation, Women Ahead, uses mentoring to expand the horizons and problem-solving potential of both mentor and mentee. They drew on the Summit’s overall theme in saying that collaboration and partnership is ‘business critical’ for coaching to remain relevant to its consumers.

Coaching must also be recognised for the wider benefits it brings to society – that was the message from a VIP event run in parallel with the Summit. The UK Coaching Committee shared the outcome of a two-year project on the Future of Coaching and launched a film summarising the work.

Professor Deirdre Brennan of Ulster University rounded off the Summit’s first day by explaining her award-winning Sports Outreach programme and its ground-breaking use of the student population to deliver amazing sports participation projects in disadvantaged communities across Northern Ireland.

Day two began with an engaging keynote from Professor Nicki Latham from Health Education England. With the health and sport sectors both currently undergoing rapid change, she drew parallels between the two, warning: ‘You can’t redesign the workforce until you’ve redesigned the work.’

‘Inspiring Change’ was not only the subject of Tracey Lines’ speech, but also the name of her organisation. They’ve used behaviour change techniques learned from the health sector to effect change in young people levels of activity. Their participant-led activities are delivered by a workforce whose recruitment is based on values, not skills.

Damian Hughes, author of Liquid Thinking, gave a powerful, thoughtful and high-energy session. He told delegates: ‘Using emotions and feelings, rather than using statistics and facts, will help people to change. Emotions are much more effective in engaging with people. When an emotion is evoked, they will take action. If you just give them logic, they will debate.’

The Summit closed with the now-traditional handover to the hosts of next year’s event. Stuart Armstrong, Sport England’s new Head of Coaching, handed over George Best’s 1968 Ballon d’Or trophy to Alan Curran from Sport Northern Ireland.

We’ll see you at the Slieve Donard Resort and Spa in Newcastle, County Down on 6 and 7 June 2017!


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