Blog entry by Olivia Warwick

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Play Their Way – Building a movement of child-first coaches

Club Matters recently caught up with Joy Shibukawa-James, Senior Marketing Executive for the Play Their Way campaign.

The Play Their Way movement was launched by the Children’s Coaching Collaborative to transform the way children and young people are coached in sport and physical activity by embracing child-first coaching principles.Play their way logo

A ‘child-first’ approach to coaching is about championing every child’s voice, choice and journey in sport and physical activity. The Play Their Way movement aims to level the playing field by putting children first and helping them to enjoy being active in their own way, where great coaching can inspire a child to stay active for life.

To kick off the movement on 23rd May, CK Flash (Head Coach) and Olympian Kye White of Peckham BMX Club hosted a media launch event to raise awareness of how they are transforming the lives of young people through a child-first coaching approach.

Group of children on BMX bikes.“Our aim is to inspire and empower coaches to put children’s rights, enjoyment, and fun at the heart of children’s sport and physical activity experiences. But we can’t do this alone! We’ve been busy raising awareness of the movement through social media and digital channels and driving people to find out more by checking out our new and exciting resource hub.”

The hub has been designed specifically for coaches so they can use it to help them on their child-first coaching journey. It’s crammed with articles, videos and downloadable resources which coaches can use in their sessions; and the great thing is it’s all free!

“To help coaches understand child-first coaching principles in practice, we have created a self-reflection tool; the Coaching Compass which coaches can use to assess their current practice. It makes practical recommendations based on their motivation and coaching style, which they can take to build on.”

We need your help!A group playing basketball and a wheelchair user addressing a footballer.

Although Play Their Way is about creating a child-first coaching movement, this can’t be achieved without the help of organisations like yours. Support is needed to empower coaches to explore this philosophy in their practice and help spread the word about the movement.

“We are here to help your organisation embed and adopt these principles in the way you work as well. If you want to explore ways you can support the movement right now, take a look at our be part of something bigger webpage. We have come up with 6 ways you can support, from downloading our communications toolkit to appointing a child-first champion to your board.”

This is just the start of the Play Their Way child-first coaching journey – “We would love you to join us on this journey to help shape its future”.

If you would like the latest news and updates on all thing’s child-first, join the mailing list by emailing

Club Matters is excited to support the Play Their Way campaign. For more information on children and young people and supporting their positive experiences, explore the Club Matters website.

Images provided by the Play Their Way campaign website.

[ Modified: Wednesday, 16 August 2023, 2:26 PM ]