Support For Coaches

Working in Partnership with Oxfordshire Sports Partnership

‘How to Deliver Engaging Sessions: A Guide for Developing Adults Through Sport’


Oxfordshire Sports Partnership logo The Oxfordshire Sports Partnership (OSP) is a network of agencies, groups and individuals that are committed to working together to achieve their shared vision for Oxfordshire, which is making ‘everyone more active and achieving their potential in sport’.


OSP sees the development of high quality coaches as being essential not only to improving the quality of existing activity within the region, but also generating new activity and increasing participation. Central to this is recruiting, training and deploying ’the right coach’. OSP recognises the needs of recreational participants are often different to those of other groups, like young children or elite athletes. And coaches often need different skills, knowledge and attributes to meet recreational participants’ needs.

OSP believes this is paramount to ensure that the sector can deliver high quality, participant-centred and appropriate sport.

OSP were looking at ways to equip its coaches with the skills needed to help deliver their vision and capitalise on the amazing success of The London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.


Coaching Development Officer Denise Brown was researching continuous professional development (CPD) courses that would fit in with their conference: ‘The Legacy of 2012’, themed around how to grow and sustain participation in sport in the county. Sports Development Manager Steve Kemp is also a UK Coaching tutor and recommended the workshop ‘How to Deliver Engaging Sessions: A Guide for Developing Adults Through Sport’ as the perfect fit for the conference.

Denise says of the workshop:

"It fitted so well with the coaching philosophy of ‘developing the whole athlete’, and we would have missed a trick if we did not include it in the coaching conference. With the increased interest, it’s crucial new or returning people’s experience of sport is a positive one. If we can get them engaged and enjoying their sport in their first few sessions, they will keep returning."


The OSP coaching conference attracted 115 coaches from nine sports, including archery, athletics, rugby union, netball, hockey, football, ice skating, rowing and synchronised swimming. ‘How to Deliver Engaging Sessions: A Guide for Developing Adults Through Sport’ was a roaring success, with coaches finding it of huge benefit to their own professional development. Yolanda Owen a Level 2 Netball Coach at Challow Netball Club who attended the workshop said:

"I really enjoyed the course and the supporting resource is very good and helpful. I came away with plenty of practical ideas to implement in my sessions, which have made a big difference to the way I coach. As a result, the girls have been able to take more ownership and have felt more involved and engaged in the sessions. This has led to them having a more enjoyable experience, with their levels of enthusiasm and motivation increasing. Most importantly, though, they continue to participate."

"The workshop was really well received by all the coaches. We were very pleased with the outcome and feedback and see scope for doing this with other governing bodies of sport, making the workshop specific to their audience. We will be working with governing bodies of sport, promoting the importance of ‘athlete-centred coaching’ and opportunities to roll the workshop out across the county. My thanks to the deliverers of the workshop. They were a great team!"

Denise Brown, Coaching Development Officer,
Oxfordshire Sports Partnership

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