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Our Strategic Intent

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Our Vision

To build a healthier and happier nation through great coaching."

We know that great coaching of sport and physical activity helps build individuals and communities, contributing to a healthier and happier nation. Both paid and volunteer coaches in the UK hold a crucial position in transforming lives and communities.

To ensure their ongoing ability to make a difference, our aim is to lead the way in promoting healthier and happier communities by inspiring and assisting coaches in all aspects of their work and ensuring that everything we do as an organisation is inclusive and reflective of society.

Coaches are the key to healthier and happier communities.

Our Purpose

Here for the Coach

Just as great coaches are there for their participants, so we are Here for the Coach.

We are the team behind the coach. We empower, champion, and develop coaches to play a pivotal role in building healthier and happier communities by bringing great coaching to the lives of millions.

Our mission is to become the UK’s leading destination for learning and development, products, and services for the coaching workforce. We are the only organisation purely dedicated to all coaches, in all environments, across all sports and physical activities. We will strengthen the reputation of the UK Coaching brand by expanding the depth and improving the quality of the learning products and services that we offer to coaches and the coach development workforce, including membership to the UK Coaching Club.

We will remain laser-focused in our commitment to provide the best support services and learning and development opportunities for all coaches, to ensure they have the skills, knowledge, and confidence to be the best they can be.

As part of that commitment, we will build on our many successes to further drive coaching research, develop insight and share best practice to meet the needs of coach development; investigate and understand how technology can better support coaching; and provide high-quality digital learning and development solutions for coaches, which are accessible to all.

Our Role in the Coaching Sector

Here for the Coach And Here for Our Partner Organisations

We are here too for our partner organisations who employ, deploy, and develop coaches and the coach development workforce.

Working with our partners we continue to grow and nurture our existing partnerships and establish new networks of trusted relationships, so that we can empower and support them to meet the needs of their coaching network and workforce.

As the voice of the coach, we continue to ramp up our efforts to raise the national profile of coaches and coaching, by demonstrating and promoting the tremendous impact that coaches can have on lives and communities.

Coaches today support a broader range of participants. As the sport and physical activity landscape has evolved, a coach’s role has diversified. Anyone who provides support, guidance and inspiration aligned to people’s individual needs and aspirations should consider themselves to be a coach.

We aspire to build a well-connected, more engaged, and better-qualified workforce that is representative of the population, capable of working across diverse communities and in multiple environments, and able to work to different outcomes. Collaboration and connection with our partners is integral in achieving this.

We recognise that we are part of a much larger team that shares a collective purpose.

Quite simply, thriving partnerships are key to a thriving coaching industry.

So What is 'Great' Coaching?

We know that great coaching is life-enhancing and develops life skills through person-centred experiences that are positive, motivational, caring, and rewarding. Coaches help to instill confidence and build resilience, adaptability, leadership skills, and a sense of self-worth – qualities that are transferable to everyday life, and that have a positive knock-on effect on people’s mental health and well-being.

Through the vehicle of sport and physical activity, coaches can also break down social differences by helping people form friendships, which in turn fosters a sense of community belonging and social cohesion.

Coaches are conduits therefore in supporting our communities to adopt healthier lifestyles and have an integral role to play in solving modern-day societal issues such as social isolation and loneliness; anti-social behaviour and crime, and anxiety and depression.

Participating in sports for the pure enjoyment of the activity is just as important as participating for other reasons, such as competition, fitness, or socialising. The relationship between the coach and athlete is critical if we are to remain on the world stage of sporting excellence. We also work in the performance system and support the coaches who work with the elite British athletes.

*Sport England Active Lives Children and Young People Survey 2021–2022.

**Sport England Active Lives Adult Survey November 2021–2022.

***UK Coaching, Coaching in the UK Survey 2022.


We know that both children and adults who are active are healthier and happier.

  • Children who are active report higher well-being scores than those who are less active.*
  • There’s a positive association between activity levels and mental well-being: some activity is good, more is better.**

We also know that those who coach are healthier and happier people themselves.

  • Over half (52%) of coaches would describe their mental health as excellent or good, compared to 43% of the general public and 43% of those who have never been coached.***

Coaches derive a sense of fulfilment from being part of a caring and worthwhile profession, knowing they are making a difference to people's lives.

The Sport and Physical Activity Landscape in the UK

As the heartbeat of our local communities, coaches are catalysts for change. Competent and confident coaches have the power to transform lives by changing the behaviours, attitudes, and habits of people from all backgrounds and in all communities.

  1. 17% of coaches are from an ethnically diverse community (compared with 11% of the UK population who are from ethnically diverse communities*** ).

  2. 23% of active coaches have a disability or health condition (compared with 17.7% of the UK population***).

  3. Although the dial is shifting, coaches are still more likely to be male (55% of coaches are male compared to 44% who are female***).

These statistics may initially appear to indicate that the workforce reflects the population.

In reality, this representation varies significantly across different coaching levels and activities.

In addition:

  • The economic climate and after effects of the COVID-19 pandemic have contributed to a decline in the volunteer coaching workforce. (Between 2019 and 2022 the percentage of coaches who volunteer their time dropped by 6%***).
  • The care system in sport doesn’t treat everyone equally and the mental health of our coaches is becoming much more of a concern.

Our stategic intent aims to ensure that the workforce is representative of society in all levels of sport, and in all settings.

Our Guiding Principles

There are four areas we will focus on as part of our strategic intent:


Inclusion: Tackling inequalities


Diversity: Building a representative workforce


Recognition: Establishing a culture of recognising and celebrating coaches' contributions


Excellence: To consistently deliver the best learning and development, products and services for coaches

Inclusion: Tackling Inequalities

Our commitment to promoting equality and tackling inequalities lies at the heart of our strategic intent, which aligns to our EEDI (Equity, Equality, Diversity and Inclusion) promise. We will strive to ensure that coaching is accessible for people from all backgrounds and with a variety of abilities and motivations, and that the people supporting it are representative of the population of the UK.

Our EEDI ambitions are:

  • for the organisation to be representative of society as a whole
  • to build on diversity of both people and thought
  • to work collaboratively across the sector and internally to ensure that everything we do is inclusive by design
  • to promote externally what we role model internally
  • to diversify coaching and the supporting infrastructure.

To achieve lasting and sustainable cultural change, we will use research, insight, feedback, and lived experience, and collaborate to guide our efforts to address inequalities both externally and internally.

Our EEDI principles are:

Consult: To ensure we have a view of the entire sport and physical activity sector, we’ll seek input and gather feedback from both external and internal sources as part of every project we undertake. This will allow us to consider a wide range of perspectives and ideas.

Discover: We will use data to inform our decisions, while also embedding a humanistic approach that will seek to capture authentic and diverse lived experiences. This approach will assist in identifying opportunities for improvement.

Explore: We will ensure our platforms and learning remain accessible and inclusive, as well as continuing to explore alternative formats for maximum reach, delivery, and impact. Ongoing and current insight will ensure that we create learning that is innovative and fit for purpose and involves the target audience from the scoping phase.

Create: We will create robust, quality, and inclusive learning opportunities – both from an internal and external perspective. We will involve appropriate audiences through testing, piloting, and navigation.

Learn: It's important that we learn what works well and what we can continue to build on and develop. We will seek to establish key findings and messaging from an EEDI perspective in everything we say and do.

Share and Celebrate: We will share any lessons learnt, insight and best practice across the sector. We will continue to create products that are inclusive and address topics such as barriers to participation in sport and physical activity faced by specific populations. We will strive to create targeted interventions through partnership working and creating safe spaces where people can share their lived experience to help others learn. We will celebrate success through our channels and work in collaboration to create solutions.

Build: Using lessons learnt and best practice from across the sector, we will build and create new opportunities for learning from an EEDI perspective. We will continuously evolve and adapt to further develop and improve understanding and learning of EEDI topics.

Through our network, we will share any lessons learnt, insight and best practice across the sport and physical activity sector.

Inclusion: Key Focus Areas

The work we do in tackling inequalities across sport and physical activity will focus on four key areas and will all be underpinned by skills development linked to employability.


Ensuring all children experience a sense of achievement through physical activity and sport.

Only 47% of children who regularly exercise strongly agree that they enjoy taking part in sport and physical activity* – a figure that’s still down on pre-pandemic levels (51%), which were already low.

Our work with Sport England on the Play Their Way campaign addresses the need for a child-first approach to coaching. The movement aims to support coaches to give children and young people a choice in their experiences of activity, create space for them to voice their wishes and enable them to take ownership of their development journey. When you embrace child-first coaching, every coach has the potential to transform lives.

Women in Coaching and Leadership

44% of coaches are women.

Our goal is to establish inclusive coaching communities and environments that promote equality for women and girls in sports, both as participants and leaders. Existing research reveals that female coaches often experience isolation due to a lack of support, which in turn “undermines their intrinsic motivation for coaching”.****

The biggest barrier for women in coaching is the behaviour of others. Isolation and lack of support for women in coaching and leadership roles persist, resulting in some talented individuals leaving the profession due to feeling undervalued or pushed out. Informal recruitment practices further exacerbate the problem, hindering women from accessing employment opportunities and career advancement.

People need to understand the strength of a diverse coaching staff and employ people based solely on their skills and experience. Female coaches can bring something different and that should be seen positively."

Giselle Mather, Director of Women's Rugby at Ealing Trailfinders

Our aim is to promote gender equity, ensuring that coaches are treated fairly and offered equal opportunities regardless of their gender. We want to avoid merely reaching 50% representation and instead strive for true equity.

To achieve this vision, we are dedicated to providing impactful learning and development solutions that foster equitable and inclusive coaching communities and environments. Moreover, we are committed to driving positive change through action, influence, collaboration, and campaigns that benefit women and girls in sport and physical activity.

Ethnically diverse communities

17% of coaches are from an ethnically diverse community (compared with 11% of the UK population who are from ethnically diverse communities).

We continue to raise awareness of the need to remove existing barriers to sport and physical activity, and access to great coaching. Through our Duty to Care movement, we’re providing coaches with the knowledge, confidence and coaching skills to always act with a duty to care to their participants.

Two key pillars within the Duty to Care Hub are Diversity and Inclusion, which highlight the importance of ensuring that everyone has the opportunity to participate and feel valued, regardless of their ethnicity.

I am more than my headscarf. I am more than that narrative. I hold the pen and write my own narrative… People put barriers up, but I don’t see them, because they are not my barriers.”

Annie Zaidi, National Ambassador for Women in Football, UEFA B Licence holder

Disability and long-term health conditions

23% of active coaches have a disability or health condition (compared with 17.7% of the UK population).

To ensure our learning programmes are accessible to all, we will collaborate with the community and partners to create and curate products, services, programmes, and content that is accessible and inclusive to meet the needs of a wider audience.

To achieve this, we ensure our eLearning content is WCAG AA standard (with elements of AAA standard) and our qualifications are accessible, we use appropriate and inclusive language in all learning and development opportunities, and ensure products and learning meet the needs of target audiences through testing/focus groups.

Ultimately, it’s about making sure that everyone’s included. Regardless of the environment, I see my role as a coach as to inspire people, whether they’re a volunteer or someone that’s coming along for the session."

Louise Assioun, LTA’s GB Visually Impaired Tennis Head Coach

By leveraging partner relationships and educating more coaches on how to reach people who have been traditionally left behind or excluded, we will ensure that everyone is given a better opportunity to enjoy being active, and to derive the benefits that regular movement brings.

Diversity: Building a Representative Workforce


UK Coaching champions the ethos of 'coaching for all.' Sport and physical activity must be safe and accessible to everyone – all backgrounds; all abilities; all motivations. And that goes for coaching too.

38% of active coaches are from CD2E (lower social and economic groups) social grade, compared to 43% of the UK population (UK Coaching, Coaching in the UK Survey 2022).

Our ambitions:

  • To increase representativeness in the coaching workforce.
  • To remove the barriers that have or might dissuade more people from diverse backgrounds getting into coaching.
  • To create more inclusive environments so that coaches from all communities can thrive.

How we'll achieve this

We'll work in collaboration with our partners and other organisations within the sector towards a shared vision, which includes:

Development of the coach development workforce: increasing representation runs through the design, delivery, content, structure, access, support, and recruitment of our coach development programmes.

  • Entry to the programmes will be more inclusive and open for those currently not in coach development workforce roles.
  • The programmes are designed to be more accessible in terms of time, range of learning content, asynchronous (just in time) content, and support opportunities.
  • The curriculums have a strong focus on relationships, motivation, support, and care because we recognise that it is the people and the relationships that really matter for inclusion.
  • We are working with partners, researchers, and across the organisation to ensure that our programmes are world class.

Connecting the workforce: by creating an environment where sports can share the challenges they face when it comes to diversifying their coaching workforce and work collaboratively to:

  • achieve and influence cultural and educational change and development in the sector
  • develop a more diverse performance coaching workforce
  • create more ‘role models’ for players and athletes to emulate
  • retain, develop and future-proof the coaching workforce
  • drive change informed by research, insight and lived experience
  • reinforce a sense of belonging
  • encourage both diversity in the workforce and cognitive diversity
  • create a network of critical friends. Access support and best practice ideas
  • co-create a safe space to discuss, seek solutions and create interventions.

Inclusive tutor recruitment: removing barriers within our tutor recruitment process that might dissuade people from diverse backgrounds from applying, including removing the need for a formal qualification.

Inclusive recruitment: we will also lead by example, and in line with our EEDI plan, in aspiring to have a workforce that is diverse and representative of all sections of society, in both people and through diversity of thought and perspective, supported by an inclusive infrastructure across all levels.

We will achieve this through:

  • Recruitment Candidate Packs: We have developed new recruitment candidate packs that highlight our commitment to equity, equality, diversity, and inclusion. These packs aim to attract a diverse pool of candidates and emphasise our dedication to accessibility for all.
  • Diversity of Thought in Recruitment Panels: To foster diversity of thought during the recruitment process, we carefully construct panels with members from different areas of the business. This approach ensures a well-rounded and inclusive assessment of candidates.
  • Data Collection: We collate business data on various diversity-related topics, such as ethnicity, gender, average age, average tenure, and gender pay gap. This data collection allows us to measure our representation efforts accurately and identify areas for improvement.
  • Board-Level Assessment: Quarterly assessments of diversity metrics take place at the board level. These evaluations enable us to monitor our progress and ensure that we are continuously representing the communities we serve.
  • Inclusive Infrastructure: Our strategy prioritises creating an inclusive infrastructure that supports diversity and representation at every organisational level. This commitment reinforces our dedication to building a workforce that reflects the diverse society we aim to serve.

Recognition: Establishing a Culture of Recognising and Celebrating Coaches’ Contributions

We put coaches at the very heart of our work and ensure they have a voice when it comes to shaping the industry in which they operate.


From how coaches are represented in the media to helping shape policy, securing investment to advancing coaching practice and championing inclusivity and diversity, we will ensure coaches get the recognition they deserve through celebration and advocacy.

Our ambitions:

  • To become the authentic voice of the coach.
  • To put coaching and coaches at the heart of positive national conversations.
  • To increase our engagement with coaches on the ground and to better understand the challenges they are facing and how the landscape is changing.
  • More recognition for coaches’ successes, enthusiasm and ceaseless dedication in the media.

How we'll achieve this

Celebration: We are passionate about celebrating and promoting the transformative potential of coaching and believe fervently in the underpinning principle that a good coach can change a game; a great coach can change a life. We see evidence of this every day as we perform the duties incumbent upon us as the leading charitable organisation in the UK for sport and physical activity coaches.

Advocacy: We will continue to advocate for the positive influence of coaching and the transformative effects it has on individuals and communities, utilising initiatives such as UK Coaching Week (June) and our Born2Coach campaign, to raise awareness and emphasise the significance of exceptional coaching in enhancing the lives and happiness of the nation.

Both our UK Coaching Week and Born2Coach campaigns place coaches and coaching at the heart of national conversation and through the media we’ll continue to represent coaches and recognise their contribution to the health and happiness of the nation.

Through initiatives such as our annual UK Coaching Awards, we’ll shine a light on and celebrate the coaches who live and breathe great coaching, and give their time to make sport and physical activity happen across the nation.

Excellence: To Consistently Deliver the Best Learning and Development, Products and Services for the Coaching Workforce


Our commitment to excellence begins with understanding the unique needs and challenges faced by coaches in their professional journeys. By conducting regular surveys and engaging in open dialogues with coaches, we’ll gain invaluable insights to tailor our products and services to meet their evolving requirements effectively.

In pursuit of delivering cutting-edge learning experiences, we prioritise continuous innovation and research and development. Our team of experts actively explore emerging trends in coaching methodologies and leverage advanced technologies to design interactive and engaging training programs, workshops, and resources.

We understand that the sport and physical activity landscape is constantly evolving, and by staying at the forefront of industry advancements, we ensure that our work remains relevant and impactful.

A central tenet of our strategy is a relentless focus on customer-centricity. Coaches are at the heart of our endeavours, and their success is our success. Through our membership offer, UK Coaching Club, we provide tailored support and guidance to coaches, including 24/7 1-2-1 professional consultations on legal, tax and counselling services, recognising the importance of addressing their individual needs and aspirations and offering support with challenges that coaches might face in their personal and professional lives.

Moreover, we offer a diverse range of professional development opportunities, equipping coaches with a versatile skill set that empowers them to address various coaching contexts effectively.

Our dedication to fostering a collaborative environment is also evident through strategic partnerships and collaborations. We seek out alliances with renowned coaching organisations, subject matter experts, and thought leaders to leverage their knowledge and expertise.

By pooling resources and insights, we enrich the learning experience for coaches and foster a vibrant community that shares a common passion for excellence.

Our goal is to empower coaches with the knowledge, skills, and behaviours they need to excel in their profession and make a lasting difference to the lives of their clients.

By consistently delivering the best learning and development products and services, we are committed to being the trusted partner that coaches can rely on throughout their transformative journey.

Underpinning activity

To effectively tackle the strategic priorities as outlined, it is imperative that we establish a strong groundwork to build upon. This foundation encompasses the following elements:

As a charity, we reinvest 100% of the profit we make back into the organisation to support the delivery of the strategic priorities.

We commit to the highest standards of governance and are recognised as compliant with the Code of Sports Governance.

The Code contains important changes to the governance of sport and physical activity. This heightened level of governance is crucial in fostering trust, accountability, and ethical conduct within the sport and physical activity sector. 

The Code includes:

  • greater transparency, enabling participants and fans to better understand the decision-making of those leading their sports
  • reforms to board memberships, including at least 25% independent members
  • commitments to greater diversity
  • establishing boards as the ultimate decision-making authority within a sport rather than traditional councils
  • tighter term limits for board and council members to ensure a regular renewal of ideas and expertise.

We understand that the delivery of our strategic intent would not be possible without our people. We will continue to invest in our people to ensure they have the right tools and support to deliver on our promises.

What Success Looks Like

Our impact measurement framework, which includes environment, external and internal measures, such as our bi-annual Coaching in the UK YouGov survey, will inform the success of our strategy and provide insightt into our impact as an organisation.

Tthrough collaboration with our network of partners and other organisations across the sector, over the next few years our ambitions are that:

  • We embrace and value every individual. We lead the way in accessible learning, opportunities, policies, and guidance, and work with key external partners to achieve this, with the vision that the coaching workforce will one day be representative of society.
  • We share lived experiences, both externally and internally, so that others can learn and understand some of the challenges faced by underrepresented populations.
  • We drive change and build a culture that values and champions diversity and inclusion at all levels.
  • We aspire to have a workforce that is diverse and representative of all sections of society, in both people and through diversity of thought and perspective - supported by an inclusive infrastructure across all levels.
  • We have more recognition of coaches’ successes, enthusiasm and hard work in the media.
  • We drive changes that make coaching a more attractive, fulfilling career path for the next generation.

Ultimately our aim is to support coaches who guide and inspire people to achieve their desired goals and transform their lives through the medium of sport and physical activity. Great coaches are the key – great coaches change people's lives and communities."

Mark Gannon, UK Coaching CEO