Working in Partnership with England Athletics
As the governing body of the sport, England Athletics develops grass-roots athletics in England, supporting affiliated clubs to prosper, developing more and better coaches, and recruiting and supporting volunteers and officials.
England Athletics knows the education and development of coaches and coaching is central to the success of athletics, in particular getting more disabled people participating. That’s why its 2013–2017 Whole Sport Plan reflects a total commitment to delivering an inclusive sport, with the goal of getting more disabled people into athletics in particular, across the impairment range.
One of the programmes designed to boost participation is Run! – a project to help develop the sport of athletics in the inner London boroughs. Tamsin Fudge is the Run! Athletics Activator for Haringey. In this role, she is tasked with trying to help clubs and coaches become more inclusive. She was looking at what training was available to help develop coaches and assist clubs to start to forge connections with local deaf youth clubs.
Tamsin heard of ‘Effective Communication: Coaching Deaf People in Sport’ through one of our workshop development partners, the National Deaf Children’s Society (NDCS). She felt that the logical way forward was to run the workshop to upskill the coaches at one of the clubs in her area, London Heathside Athletics Club. This would help them understand better how they could work with young deaf people before making the connection with local deaf youth clubs by inviting them over for an athletics taster day.
The workshop was attended by a number of people, including the club’s head coaches, which meant what they learnt could be filtered down to all aspects of the club. In particular, the coaches enjoyed the practical side of the workshop, learning more about the different signs and practical ways that you can communicate with deaf people in your sessions. Such was the success of the workshop that the England Athletics National Disability Lead who attended is looking at how they can start to roll it out nationally. In the meantime, Tamsin is confident that the success of the workshop will be replicated in other areas of London and lead to more deaf people participating.
'Effective Communication: Coaching Deaf People in Sport’ is the perfect workshop to help clubs become more inclusive. The tutor was great, very clear and good at answering people’s queries, and went at a pace everyone was comfortable with. The practical nature of the workshop really helped the coaches to understand how easy it is to open their sessions up and work with deaf young people. Learning how they can include deaf people in their sessions so easily was an invaluable experience for the coaches, club members and volunteers who attended. We look forward to running more workshops in the future.'
Tamsin Fudge, Run! Athletics Activator for Haringey