Coaches can play crucial role post-Covid, say CEOs

Coaches can help to play a crucial role in helping sport – and society – recover from the Coronavirus pandemic.

That’s the view of Mark Gannon, Chief Executive at UK Coaching, and his counterpart at Sport England, Tim Hollingsworth, in a podcast released this week.

There are around three million people coaching sport in the UK, and both CEOs believe the coaching community can contribute to the mental, as well as physical, wellbeing of people they are coaching.


That’s why the two organisations, along with partners Mind Charity and 1st4Sport, have made their Mental Health Awareness for Sport and Physical Activity online training course free of charge until August 31st.

Mark Gannon, Chief Executive Officer at UK Coaching, said: “One of the things we are very aware of is what will have happened to people during this period of restriction owing to Coronavirus. There will be health and wellbeing issues and, as a result, we have worked with Sport England and Mind to make available mental health and wellbeing training for all of the coaching workforce free of charge.

“This will upskill the coaching community to better deal with and recognise the signs of someone who has, perhaps, struggled through this period and may be struggling to re-engage.”


On the podcast, Sport England CEO Tim Hollingsworth praises the innovative approach to online coaching many coaches have taken during the lockdown.

He says: “Coaches are key workers for the sports and physical activity industry. That ability to make the session real and meaningful – and also to provide improvement in a technical sense – will be absolutely critical for us moving forwards.

“There is a vital need for us to think more in our strategy about the role of people in supporting our desire to make sport and physical activity have a purpose for society, and have a purpose for everyone in their individual lives.”

Access the podcast here.