This year’s UK Coaching Week, which runs from June 7th to 13th, is to kick off a year-long campaign called ‘The Great Coaching Comeback’ which is aimed at supporting coaches as they return to coaching after pandemic restrictions have been lifted in the UK.
The pandemic has had a significant impact on the coaching workforce at all levels, with Covid-19 restrictions decreasing coaching opportunities and creating financial uncertainty and a loss of identity for many coaches.
To ascertain the level of disruption, UK Coaching has launched a survey to uncover what coaches need so they can get back to delivering great experiences of sport and physical activity and changing people’s lives. Access the survey here.
UK Coaching’s Director of Coaching Emma Atkins, said: “With restrictions easing and the sights and sounds of sport and physical activity coming back to life, we need to make sure that every one of the nation’s three million coaches feels ready and supported to return to coaching.
“At this stage, we do not know how many coaches will return to the profession. It is likely to be less than before the pandemic, so we want to show the sector, the public and the government the types of challenges the coaching workforce has faced over the past 12 months and work together to support them to return, ensuring we have a workforce of happy and healthy coaches across the UK.”
She added: “It is important that we all care for our wonderful coaches. Whether it is greater financial security, more learning and development, or access to jobs and training, we need to champion real solutions for coaches so they feel valued and confident to keep us all moving.”
Mark Gannon, Chief Executive of UK Coaching, said: “We all know the positive effect exercise has on our physical and mental health and now is the time to get back to it. Many of us have experienced what life would be like without it or at least a diminished active routine, which is why we’re all chomping at the bit to get back out there and achieve our sport and fitness goals.
“The coach is the greatest conduit to these endeavours, so their development, education and encouragement should be central to ‘levelling up the health of the nation’ as we recover from this unprecedented time. We need to elevate coaching careers and the values which underpin the role.”
Coaches who have used innovative ways to keep people active during the lockdowns and making a difference to people’s mental and physical wellbeing will be a core part of UK Coaching Week, with nominations currently open for the UK Coaching Hero awards initiative.
UK Coaching will also call on its partners and other sporting bodies to show their commitment to Duty to Care and the five pillars that make up great coaching: Safeguarding, Diversity, Inclusion, Mental Health and Wellbeing.
To find out more about UK Coaching Week and get involved, visit ukcoaching.org/coachingweek.