More than 2.6 million people in England have coached in the last 12 months.
Over that time, they have helped more than nine million people in the UK develop their skills and stay physically activity.
To mark the inaugural Coaching Week, we’re highlighting the work we do to support coaches encourage physical activity in our nation.
In November 2016 we launched our new strategy, Coaching in an Active Nation, which is designed to support those coaches who work with people who already have a regular sporting habit, but also to target those taking their first steps to becoming more physically active.
For the past 18 months we have been working to begin implementation of that strategy and our head of coaching, Stuart Armstrong, is excited by what is to come.
“There’s a whole range of things we've been working on in the last 18 months – it’s been a whirlwind,” he said.
“We put into the strategy that we wanted to look at how we could use apprenticeships as a means by which to get people into coaching – particularly people from different communities than we would ordinarily recruit from. That’s a starting point.
“The other thing we’ve done is reviewed qualifications. In the next two years – there’ll be a two-year transition.
“We’re going to transition from the old qualifications – UKCC – to new. And that links to work we’re doing with Chartered Institute for Management in Sport and Physical Activity, who will be rolling out the first of a suite of new professional standards for coaching.”
How do we support coaches?
In the last year we have, to name just a few, awarded £2million to the Football Association, more than £2m to UK Coaching and £250,000 to the London Community Foundation to provide multi-skill coaching.
We have also made many smaller grants to organisations such as South Hants Falcons Volleyball Club, who received £6,450 towards their volleyball participation and coaching opportunity for juniors.
We also awarded £740 to Ryton Cricket Club for members to attain a Level 2 coaching qualification and £5,772 to the Angling Coaching Initiative.
And with our Active Nation strategy focusing not only on participation but the outcomes of it, such as physical and mental wellbeing, individual development, social and community development and economic development, our Stuart is confident coaching has a large part to play.
“Coaching really hits against so many of those different outcomes,” he added.
“We’ve also broadened the definition of coaching to include instructors and activators and anybody who is providing that initial touch point.
“We’re trying, as much as possible, to get the right kind of people in place who can provide participants with the right kind of experience.”
The inaugural event is being led by UK Coaching and is designed to celebrate the #GreatCoaching that goes on around the country every day of the year.
The benefits of coaching are clear to see, with 78% of active coaches believing that their efforts make a difference to their participants.
It’s not just one-sided either, with 77% of people saying they enjoy being coached and 83 per cent believing that coaching improves their physical health – while 72% believe coaching improves their mental health and well-being.
To find out more about Coaching Week, visit the UK Coaching website.