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UK Coaching Week 2020 begins

September 14th 2020
Vicky Sartain

This week (14 – 20 September) sees the return of UK Coaching’s annual campaign highlighting the great work of coaches around the nation.

This year’s theme for UK Coaching Week is ‘Support your Coach’ in response to issues highlighted in a recent study that show many coaches are struggling owing to a perceived lack of support in their roles, heightened further by the impact of Covid-19.

Coaches are critical to reuniting people as restrictions are lifted, and following the government’s announcement of a new ‘obesity strategy’, which is calling on people to ‘take control of their own future by losing weight, getting active and adopting a healthier lifestyle’, they will be further relied upon to keep the nation moving.

However, UK Coaching has found that both before and during the outbreak of the virus, coaches have been feeling unsupported. In the organisation’s ‘Coaching in the UK 2019’ research – carried out by YouGov – nearly a quarter of all coaches said a major barrier to them coaching was a lack of support from employers, clubs or national governing bodies of sport, and over 40% said they do not have access to someone who can support them in their coaching role, ie a mentor or coach developer. Additionally, a Twitter poll, conducted by UK Coaching at the height of the lockdown, showed that over 30% of coaches felt they received ‘no support’ during the coronavirus outbreak.

UK Coaching’s Director of Coaching, Emma Atkins, said: “Coaches have been absolute heroes keeping us active, connected and motivated both before the pandemic and during the period of isolation and disruption caused by the lockdown.

“However, bubbling under the surface is a feeling of disquiet. We know some grassroots coaches – and elite too for that matter – are struggling with the perceived lack of support right now, so we want to ask the public and anyone who benefits from sport and physical activity to say thank you and pledge their time to support their coach or coaches.

“As restrictions are eased and more of us return to play, we will turn to coaches and expect them to integrate new controls to keep us all safe, so let’s ensure that we recognise and support our coaches across the UK for the vital work that they do.”

How can you help?

The #GreatCoachingPledge will call on the nation to give some of their own time, sharing thanks and support for the coaching community. Everyone can get involved in the #GreatCoachingPledge – from parents, players and athletes to clubs, charities and businesses. Whether it’s a simple thank you, or offering your time to help clear the cones after your child’s football training, every little moment you can give will help our coaches to feel recognised and appreciated, and therefore, help our nation to stay active and healthy.

There are lots of ways to get involved, and it can start with a simple ‘thank you’ on social media using the #GreatCoachingPledge hashtag to offering to help a coach at your local club.

Find out more about the work of UK Coaching here.

If you have an inspiring story to share about a coaching experience, drop us a line at magazine@archerygb.org

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