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UK Coaching Team
Young people Supporting Specific Needs

Coaching Young People in Disadvantaged Communities

Mike Dale discovers four organisations from around the country that use great coaching to introduce sport to new audiences and connect with people from disadvantaged backgrounds

Establishing trust, understanding barriers and being a positive role model are prerequisites for any coach working in this area – skills that many existing coaches will know from working with groups that feel underrepresented or disconnected from sport.

Programme Director of Active Row (run by London Youth Rowing), Emily Coe took a group of 14-year-old girls from Wandsworth out rowing as part of a programme to engage young people in London’s most disadvantaged areas. She had expected them to be unfamiliar with the boats and paddles, but their inexperience went several steps further than that.

“These girls lived under one mile from the Thames, but many had never even seen the river,” Emily explains.

“It has become a well-told story among our coaches, but it’s more common than you might think. Many young people simply never set foot outside their own borough.”

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UK Coaching Team