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Coaching has Helped Me Build Life Skills Outside of Sport

Voices of Incredible People series: Khadra Ahmed – Student and Coach, Fit for Sport and Little Kickers

Six ‘Voices of Incredible People’ (VIPs) were invited to share their inspirational coaching stories to a group of partners, leaders, coaches and participants at an event hosted by UK Coaching and Sport England to celebrate the two-year anniversary of the Coaching Plan for England

While their individual motivations for starting out in coaching are as diverse as their backgrounds, there was a common theme running through the compelling collection of personal journeys: the transformational power of coaching.

We believe it is incumbent on the industry to spread empowering stories like the ones told by our six VIPs, as not only are they Incredible People but also Very Influential People, who can raise awareness of the importance of coaching through the emotional impact generated by their experiences.


My name is Khadra and I’m a volleyball coach and a Coach Core graduate.

From a young age, sport was something that I was drawn to. It was always a bit controversial for me. Being a young Muslim Somali girl, sport wasn’t always encouraged in my community. 

I started playing volleyball at the age of 14 and was picked for the school team. That’s when I met my first coach, Mo. 

He always kept us motivated in matches and training sessions and he helped me develop my confidence, which made me a better athlete and a better person.

He believed in me and thought I would make a good leader, so he selected me as captain of the team.

Mo has always been someone who inspires me. He taught me a lot of lessons through sport and, after I left school, he encouraged me to apply to Coach Core.

Being an apprentice last year was amazing. This allowed me to take responsibility, get new qualifications and start my journey as a sports coach.

It has had a huge impact on me, helping me see things from a different perspective, and teaching me that when you put in hard work, you see results. Well, eventually…

My coaching philosophy is that I want to be a role model to young people – especially inspiring young girls to get involved with sport – and I want to use my experience to help people in the same way that my coach and Coach Core have helped me.

I know now that I’m going in the right direction and I have the skills and confidence I need to succeed.

I am currently studying a Sport Exercise Science degree at University of East London. It’s going great, I’ve met new friends and of course I’m now in a different environment. University has really challenged me, as I need to be organised and have excellent time management skills.

Being a coach last year has helped me improve my time management and organisation skills, having got into a routine of completing session plans and arriving 10 minutes early to sessions. These are attributes which now support me in being an independent student. 

I’m looking forward to the future, and that is thanks to my mentors, coaches and amazing people I have met along the way. 

The advice I will give to those who wish to take up this apprenticeship is:

  • Take risks: You will get lots of opportunities and it’s important that you challenge yourself.  
  • Try to put 100% into everything you do and make the most of the amazing people you meet, like tutors and mentors.

If I had the opportunity, I’d do the apprenticeship all over again. 

After finishing my Sports and Exercise degree, I hope to complete a Masters in Sports Management Industry before going on to become a volleyball coach or PE teacher.

Voices of Incredible People

Read the coaching stories of the other five VIPs who spoke at the Coaching Plan for England and Diversity Event

Six of the best

Related Resources

  • Female Coaches Need to Be Positive Role Models

  • Principles of Great Coaching: Empowering

  • The Impact of Role Models on Players and Coaches


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