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29 Apr 2024 159

Nation says ‘Thanks Coach’ as we celebrate UK Coaching Week 2024

This UK Coaching Week, UK Coaching is praising the commitment of the volunteer and paid coaching workforce who deliver sport and physical activity across the UK, and their approach in taking a holistic, people first approach to coaching.

Celebrating ahead of schedule, UK Coaching Week kicks off early in 2024, with anticipation building for an exciting year of sport, particularly Paris 2024. This week (29 April – 5 May), we are asking people to come together to say ‘thank you’ to those fantastic coaches who continue to make a profound positive difference to the lives of individuals and their local communities.

For this year’s celebration, UK Coaching is encouraging even more coaches to take a holistic approach to their coaching, treating everyone as individuals with unique needs, strengths, and motivations. Holistic coaching goes beyond sporting experience, including building life skills and shaping individuals into well-rounded, confident, and resilient people, both in and out of sport.

90% of those who receive coaching say they have confidence and trust in their coach. All participants who take part in sport and physical activity appreciate how valuable coaches are to their own personal development and in supporting the nation to be active.

As coaches are rightly celebrated, UK Coaching is calling for more to be done to support coaches and help them manage the increasing responsibilities of community coaching and pressures of high performance. After all, coaches are people too.

The good news is, the sector is working closer together to empower coaches to continue their learning and development, with the goal of integrating holistic coaching practices into all sport and physical activity with the inclusion of life skills like teamwork, leadership, and decision-making. This continues UK Coaching’s ‘Duty to Care’ campaign - to ensure that the care system in sport and physical activity is designed to support everyone.

During UK Coaching Week, participants, coaches and the general public are being encouraged to share a special thank you to coaches who have made a positive difference, using #ThanksCoach and #UKCoachingWeek to unite the community in support of those who give so much to make sport and physical activity happen.

Reflecting on the need to do more to celebrate great coaching, Mark Gannon, UK Coaching CEO said:

We are excited to be celebrating UK Coaching Week earlier this year for 2024 – giving coaches the proper thanks and recognition they deserve cannot come soon enough. The needs and workload of coaches are too often an afterthought in a system that needs to do more to see coaches as people too.

“This year is all about celebrating those taking a more holistic approach in their coaching. We know that great coaching can change lives, and as coaches continue to deliver an incredibly positive impact across communities, often beyond sport and physical activity, we want to bring everyone together to express our heartfelt appreciation.

“Coaches show unwavering dedication to not only give their participants the edge they need to perform at their best, but also in nurturing individuals so they can develop and thrive in all aspects of their lives. As the leading voice of coaches across the UK, it is our responsibility to advocate for positive and welcoming environments within all forms of sport and physical activity delivery. But coaches can’t continue to deliver for sporting communities if we don’t build in equal support for those supporting others, the coaches.”

A champion of delivering a holistic coaching approach in what is often cast as a hyper-competitive and pressured environment in elite level football, AFC Wimbledon Academy Manager Michael Hamilton expressed his support for UK Coaching Week, and the importance of developing players as people first and foremost.

The ethos we take is one of holistic coaching, because it is our duty and responsibility to develop our players as human beings, not just on the pitch. Ultimately, as very few can and will make it to be professional, and for many being a footballer is all they know for many years, when that question comes of ‘what now?’ – coaches have a huge role to play in supporting and empowering young people.

“Our academy run a practical ‘camp’ for young pIayers to learn key life skills, how to manage themselves independently – something simple but really powerful and essential when it comes to looking after their long-term future. Players also will produce their own development plans, where they are encouraged to think about what they can do to set themselves apart.

“I want to encourage all coaches, whatever your sport, however you approach your sessions, to think about those who need guidance, support and care and how you can see them as an individual who will benefit from wider development opportunity. Sport is all about just that – opportunity, to grow and excel whatever your path may be.”

UK Coaching Week 2024 is all about empowering coaches to embrace the value of enriching life skills through sport and physical activity. Coaches already do so much amazing work, with a selflessness that means they often don’t get the thanks or recognition they deserve. To all those out there who give their time to help deliver sport and physical activity across the nation and support their participants through good times and tough times – Thanks Coach.

To find out how you can get behind UK Coaching Week visit our UK Coaching Week landing page.

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