Here come the girls! Welcome to the coaching family!

by Esther Jones, Development Lead Officer, UK Coaching
Here come the girls! Welcome to the Coaching Family!

What a year for girls and women in leadership! 2018 has seen the celebration of the 100 year anniversary of the Representation of People Act 1918, which allowed women to vote for the very first time and led to our first woman being elected to Parliament.

We need to inspire more girls and young women into leadership roles in sport and physical activity too!

At UK Coaching we want to share our support for this fantastic event and say a big 'Hello and welcome to the coaching family' to all those who take part In the Girls Active Coaches Camp.

Our mission is to put coaching at the heart of physical activity and sport. We believe that coaching is about people. People create great experiences, and through coaching a person can inspire others to make a positive difference to their lives.

Coaches build confidence, character and connection in participants

We need more women to be involved in coaching!

UK Coaching commissioned YouGov to survey 20,000 adults and 1,000 children in 2017. Using the broader definition of coaching we saw that 46% of our coaching family are women.  It is great to see more women involved.

The research indicates that:

  • slightly more women coach in community groups compared to men
  • significantly more women coach in schools (PE) compared to men
  • significantly more women coach in schools (outside of PE) compared to men

However, the research has also indicated that:

  • Significantly more men coach in sports clubs, compared to women
  • More men coach in leisure centres, compared to women
  • More men coach in private gyms/health clubs, compared to women.

We need to address the gender balance across the whole of the coaching community and ensure we have a diverse workforce that can meet the needs of a wide range of participants, and provide them with the best possible experience in sport and physical activity.

The benefits involved in sport and physical activity

As a young (disabled) girl I loved playing all types of sport and got so much from being involved in sport with friends. I was involved in athletics at a very high level and competed for Great Britain in several Paralympic Games.

Being coached helped me in so many ways.  I achieved many great things in terms of my sports performance, but the most valuable were linked to my own development as a young (disabled) person.

Benefits included:

  • Increase in my confidence in my abilities (and help to work with my limitations on and off the athletics track)
  • Fitness and increase strength (which was very important for day to day life)
  • Friendship and a sense of belonging in my chosen community (athletics)
  • Developed my ability to challenge and develop myself as a person, an obvious help in athletics, but has been useful in my career too!
  • A life-long habit in sport and physical activity, which is very important to me
So what makes a good coach of young people – what do you need?

It’s not all about technical and tactical knowledge of a sport or activity, the most important thing is to be able to work with the person in front of you and provide the best experience you can for them. Youth Sport Trust and UK Coaching did some focus groups with primary school children to find out what they thought a good coach was in their eyes. Here are some of the answers:

So what is in it for you?

I always believed it was important put something back in to sport and encourage other girls (and disabled people) like me to get involved. It felt good working with other young people helping them to achieve their goals, and it gave me great satisfaction.  I also developed:

  • Self-confidence and self-esteem – by standing up in front of people and having them look to me for guidance and support. It was scary at first, but with support I developed the confidence to speak and work with a group
  • Problem solving skills
  • Empathy – an understanding the needs of people around me

Other skills and attributes coaching can help you develop are:

  • Communication
  • Planning
  • A sense of responsibility
  • Time management
  • Commitment
  • How to get the best out of people
  • Leadership skills

Many of these will help you with your coaching, and can also help you progress into your chosen career.

Being a part of the Student Sport Management Team at my local college involved going out into local primary and secondary schools, running workshops and helping to run events. This experience has greatly developed my neighbourliness and community spirit as it really felt like we were making a positive difference in terms of getting more children involved in sport not only in participating but also giving them a flavour of the other opportunities they can get involved in within sport.

Lauren Jordinson (Class of 2014 Queen Elizabeth 6th-form College, Darlington. Now studying Accounting & Finance at Leeds University)

UK Coaching want to make it easier for people of all abilities, backgrounds and motivations to get into coaching, and we are fully behind The Girls Active Coaches Camp. It is brilliant to see opportunities are being provided for girls to get more involved.

‘Be inspired, be the change’ take up the challenge to go on your own learning and development journey, and at the same time get more young people active in sport and physical activity!!

Where next?

Want to learn more about becoming a coach once you have started your journey? Good coaches are always learning and seeking out development opportunities for themselves. Visit our website for more information on getting started and where to go for more information.






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