Workforce development continues with online course for coaches

The Open University is developing a course to help those who coach the coaches

18 February 2019

Our goal of building a stronger workforce for the sport and physical activity sector is continuing with a new online Open University (OU) course.

Funded by a £38,500 award from us, The Open University is developing the free course to help those who train, mentor or develop the skills of sports coaches, officials, instructors and activity leaders.

Currently set for a July launch and to be hosted on The OU’s learning website, OpenLearn, ‘Coaching Others to Coach’ will give those who complete the course a ‘final digital badge’.

“It's excellent to have our sports expertise and work-related training recognised on a national level,” said Ben Oakley, OU professor of sports performance education.

What will the course cover?

  • How adults learn
  • The skills and communication behaviours of those coaching coaches
  • How to make sense of complex learning environments
  • Observing practice and providing feedback to coaches
  • Understanding and recognising expertise in coach development.

“By improving the coaching delivered by people in many different areas of sport and physical activity, thanks to the Sport England funding, this course will have the knock-on effect of benefitting thousands of people who are coached.

“That’s a really exciting prospect for us in terms of the impact we are going to have.”

Last year we published Working in an Active Nation, our strategy to ensure that people who are engaged in sport and physical activity have the best possible experience by recruiting the best possible workforce.

We are excited to see the benefits providers of sport and physical activity gain from this course

Caroline Fraser, our director of workforce

More than 2.6 million people in England have coached in the last year, helping more than nine million people develop sports skills and to stay active.

And Caroline Fraser, our director of workforce, is excited by the impact this course – which includes video, audio and interactive materials designed to be completed in eight two-three-hour online learning sessions – could have on the sector.

“Coaches, volunteers and officials are the backbone of the sport and physical activity industry - constantly going above and beyond to make sure millions of people can get active,” she said.

“If we are to tackle inactivity head on, we must also go to great lengths to make sure that everyone working in sport and activity feels confident, valued and supported.

“That’s why we have awarded funding to The Open University’s innovative online course.

“We are excited to see the benefits providers of sport and physical activity gain from this course, not only in improving their offering and building their expertise but also in creating inclusive, engaging and attractive environments to support more people getting active.”

For more information or to get involved, email The OU, or visit their website.