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30 Jul 2020 112

Thought leadership article: Duty to Care

UK Coaching's Director of Coaching Emma Atkins's thought leadership article on the Duty to Care Toolkit.

During the Coronavirus pandemic, coaches have played a big part in their communities. Lifting the mood and boosting the physical, social, emotional and mental health of the nation. As we say goodbye to Joe Wicks in the mornings and look ahead to returning to play – whatever that looks like for us – it is vital that as coaches we ensure we are reconnecting with the participants who rely on us.

The last few months have put an unimaginable strain on people’s physical and mental well-being, and thus, we are seeing a society mixed in their response with some desperate to return to sport and exercise, some with reservations and many considering something slightly different to before. 

Show our personal commitment to really great coaching

So, that is why it is so timely for us all involved in coaching to take a pause and think through what kind of coach we want to be. How we can be even better at being truly person-centred and show our personal commitment to really great coaching. Helping people to maximise their own potential in sport and physical activity however that looks is a privilege and one which carries huge responsibilities.

We are working with wonderfully complex human beings who want differing things from their sport and activity experiences. We can’t just 'rock up' to coach without being aware of these complexities ensuring the environment is COVID-19 safe and that we are conscious of our responsibilities to look after the people in our care.

For many years in previous job roles, I have been involved in supporting people to enjoy sport and physical activity, and to use the experience to lead happier and healthier lives. I have seen the power of great coaching in action and also the issues caused if this isn’t so great. So, after years of really great partnership work across our teams at UK Coaching and the sector, it is fabulous to launch our new Duty to Care Toolkit and Digital Badge. This will support coaches by enabling them to show their commitment to great coaching, and to continue to improve the coaching experience people receive. 

Creating diverse and inclusive environments where everyone can thrive

The Duty to Care Toolkit, which is available on UK Coaching’s learning and development platform – ukcoaching.org – covers the five pillars of coaching – Diversity, Inclusion, Mental Health, Safeguarding and Well-being. The toolkit not only challenges coaches to demonstrate their knowledge of the principles of Duty to Care, but also guides them towards learning resources that can help them to adapt sessions safely. Helping all coaches to put that time and thought into creating diverse and inclusive environments where everyone can thrive.

I am looking forward to all those great coaches across the UK getting involved and completing the free Duty to Care Knowledge Checks and displaying their Duty to Care ‘Digital Badge’ with pride.

Duty to Care Toolkit and Digital Badge

Learn more about the five pillars of Duty to Care and start working towards earning our nationally recognised Duty to Care ‘Digital Badge’

Learn More