Blog entry by Niall Judge
In this Club Matters guest blog, as part of our Coronavirus response section, Jenny Buckham-Hedges, Coach Development Officer at UK Coaching, talks to us about how the organisation is working to support coaches through this difficult period. She shares some helpful guidance on safeguarding training, overcoming isolation and staying connected.
Since Jenny shared this blog post with the Club Matters team in March, UK Coaching has been hard at work rolling out new support for coaches during the coronavirus pandemic.
They have now announced, during Mental Health Awareness Week, that their Mental Health for Sport and Physical Activity online course is now available to coaches free of charge until 31st August 2020 – click the link to sign up!
course is designed to help coaches improve their knowledge of mental health
problems, support people living with mental health problems that attend their
activity sessions, and ultimately make their club/organisation more inclusive
by applying what they’ve learned
We know coaches and we know that this period is already affecting them and their participants physically, emotionally, socially and economically. The main concerns we are hearing from coaches are the disconnect from their players, the feeling of isolation from their peers and a sense that they are no longer valuable because they can’t do what they love to do!
Although enforced isolation may be stopping coaches from working with their teams or participants in person, we won’t let it stop them from gathering knowledge and growing their coaching skills. To support coaches to keep positive we have been looking at providing alternative ways to access learning and development, engage in networking opportunities, and to provide them with advice and guidance on how they can connect with their players and keep them motivated.
One area where coaches and their clubs have been expressing real concern is around the completion of the Safeguarding and Protecting Children workshop (SPC). This is essential for coaches with responsibility for children and young people. To overcome the current challenges of face to face delivery UK Coaching have created the next best option; a facilitated ‘live’ session, delivered by an accredited and highly-experienced UK Coaching tutor.
Although ‘face to face’ should be the first entry point for coaches into safeguarding training, this two-hour, online classroom delivered during these unprecedented times is supported by the CPSU. This means one less worry for coaches who need this learning to ensure they can deliver once the restrictions are lifted. For more information courses and how to book please follow this link
Curious Coaches Club
To overcome feelings of isolation during this time UK Coaching is launching the ‘Curious Coaches’ Club’, aimed at providing a virtual network for coaches to come together. The ‘Curious Coaches Club’ will have three parts to it:
1. Watch ‘A Conversation About…’ between expert coaches live on a Monday or on-demand via UK Coaching website
2. Engage and take part in a more in-depth conversation about the topic on Wednesday or Thursday via smaller informal gatherings of coaches hosted by one of our team.
3. Continue the conversation via the community aspect of ‘Connected Coaches’ hosted on our website.