UK Coaching has launched a new toolkit that will ensure the nation’s coaches are equipped with the knowledge and skills to provide great coaching experiences to others, and support them as coaches to better look after themselves as they return to coaching after COVID-19 restrictions are relaxed.
The Duty to Care Toolkit, which will be available on UK Coaching’s learning and development platform, ukcoaching.org has come to fruition after extensive consultative support from a range of partners and coaches across the UK.
Set across five areas, known as pillars – Diversity, Inclusion, Mental Health, Safeguarding and Well-being – the toolkit will challenge coaches to demonstrate their knowledge of the principles of Duty to Care and will sign-post them to coach learning resources that can help them to adapt sessions safely; creating diverse and inclusive environments that help to increase the mental health and well-being of both them and their participants.
Coaches who complete the free Duty to Care Knowledge Check in each pillar will earn themselves a nationally recognised Duty to Care ‘Digital Badge’, which they can display with pride to show their commitment to great coaching.
The findings of Baroness Grey-Thompson’s Duty of Care in Sport review coincided with UK Coaching’s plan to devise a product that ensures coaches are sufficiently equipped to deliver great coaching – and thereby, inspire their participants to develop lifelong active lifestyles and ensure athletes’ welfare is at the top of their priority list.
UK Coaching’s Director of Coaching Emma Atkins, said:
“We are ecstatic about the launch of our new Duty to Care Toolkit and Digital Badge, which supports coaches by enabling them to show their commitment to great coaching, and to continue to improve the coaching experience people receive.
“In the coronavirus era, coaches have a big part to play in their communities, lifting the mood and boosting the physical, social, emotional and mental health of the nation. More than ever before, we need to look after our participants regardless of where they are on their sport and physical activity journey. The last few months have put an unimaginable strain on people’s physical and mental well-being, and thus, we are seeing a society desperate to return to sport and exercise. We know that many coaches are wanting to return to coaching too, but they want the reassurance that they can do this safely and confidently.
“Many of the nation’s coaches, whether they’re grassroots or elite level, need support and learning opportunities so they can effectively look after the well-being of their participants, as well as their own too.
“At UK Coaching, we pride ourselves in supporting coaches who transform the lives of individuals and communities to help create a happier and healthier society. This extensive toolkit will help all coaches thrive in their role, which is essential if we are to navigate this uncertain time together and get the nation back on its feet.”
British Swimming’s National Centre Lead Coach and coach to swimming sensation Adam Peaty, Mel Marshall, said:
“To me coaching is about people, and how coaching illuminates’ human beings, so it’s fantastic to see UK Coaching releasing a resource that will help coaches to find their feet again after what has been an incapacitating time for us.”
Sporting Communities’ Marketing Officer and Lead Coach Kobi-Kazia Thompson was one of the first coaches to trial the product, she said:
“It’s a great coach learning tool and I feel like my knowledge in each of the five areas has vastly improved.
“I can’t wait to start coaching again.”
Sport England’s Executive Director of Sport Phil Smith, said:
“We are really pleased that this support for coaches is now available, especially with the recent news that recreational and team sport are set to reopen, as coaches are at the heart of helping to get England’s activity levels back to where they were before coronavirus.
“As we slowly return to playing the sports we love, or maybe start new ones, it is important that people enjoy their first experiences back, and the Duty to Care Toolkit will help coaches have the support they need across the areas of Diversity, Inclusion, Mental Health, Safeguarding and Well-being. Alongside the advice and guidance we’ve compiled on how the sport and physical activity sector can successfully and safely return to play, this will really help them to provide great experiences and support everyone safely back into activity.”
Paralympian Tanni, Baroness Grey-Thompson, said:
“UK Coaching’s toolkit is the right way for coaches – at any stage of their career – to check in, challenge themselves and refuel their coaching skills to keep delivering great coaching experiences.”
Through the toolkit, coaches will be able to test their coaching know-how with free Knowledge Checks across the five pillars, as well as discover a suite of coach learning. There’s no set learning process, so coaches can do the free Knowledge Checks or learning whichever way round they like.