We use cookies to give you the best experience and to help improve our website. By using our website you are accepting our cookies.  Learn More

Quantitative Research

One of the goals of the Children’s Coaching Collaborative is to support current and future coaches to help them maximise children and young people’s participation in sports and physical activity. The support for current and future coaches is paramount in achieving this. But who are the children’s coaching workforce?

Research investigating the specific characteristics of the children’s coaching workforce is scarce. The CCC has undertaken a piece of quantitative research with Leeds Beckett University to provide a more nuanced understanding of who these coaches are, their backgrounds and experiences and their needs and wants. 


1,420 coaches completed a detailed survey to help build an informative picture of the current children and young people’s coaching workforce.

Here is a sneak preview of some of the findings:

  • In the context of coaching 80%, of participants identify as a coach. 
  • 61.6% of coaches were male, 36.5% were female, and 0.2% of coaches preferred to self-describe.
  • 92.1% of the sample were white, 2.2% had a Multiple/Mixed ethnic background, 1.9% were Asian/Asian British, and 1.8% were Black/African/Caribbean.
  • The age distribution followed a normal distribution with the biggest number of respondents in the 45-54 category (27.1%) and the 35-44 band (24.5%).
  • Female coaches more than doubled their male counterparts in the 16-24 age-band. By contrast, male coaches outnumbered female colleagues in all the older categories.
  • The majority of coaches (62.1%) were volunteers. By contrast, 36.9% of coaches were remunerated, 22.5% on a part-time basis, and 14.4% full time.
  • Male and female coaches are equally distributed in full-time and volunteer with expenses positions. However, female coaches are more frequent in part-time positions (57.1% vs 42.9%).
  • Of the coaches that completed the survey, the majority coach in a community / grassroots environment (63%), followed by the second highest response of 12% in a youth talent and performance setting.
  • 81.2% of coaches primarily coach in one single sport.
  • The vast majority of coaches held an NGB coaching qualification. Over 19% of coaches had completed a Level 1 award, 42% held a Level 2, almost 21% had a Level 3, and 7.8% had a Level 4. Only 5.6% of coaches did not have a qualification.
  • 92.3% have experience participating in the sport that they primarily coach, with 34% having competed at a high standard / semi-professional level.
  • 46.5% were unpaid volunteers receiving no compensation or expenses for their coaching, whilst 37% were either full or part-time employed.

The research confirms the heterogeneity of the coaching workforce, its shifting and dynamic nature and the need to avoid considering them as a single group. There is no ‘one size fits all’ approach when determining the best initiatives to support children’s coaches. 

It also signals the need to conduct further research to enhance our understanding of the needs and wants of this varied population. The Children’s Coaching Collaborative will continue this path. The next phase of this research will specifically involve a series of focus groups exploring the key issues raised by the findings more deeply. 

Please watch this space. 

Children’s Coaching Collaborative

Inspiring a child-first grassroots coaching movement

Learn More