On June 7th-8th the Welsh Sport Association (WSA) Coaching Officer, Dan Owens and Workforce Project Manager, Vicki Sutton attended and spoke at the 2016 UK Coaching Summit in Manchester. The theme for this years summit was “Coaching is Business Critical” and Vicki and Dan we invited to deliver a presentation on behalf of the WSA on coaching developments in Wales.
The hour long presentation took place on the main stage of the Hilton Deansgate venue in front of 68 attendees including Sport Wales Chair, Paul Thomas and Sport Wales Head of Community Sport, James Owens. The talk evolved around the new WSA CoachingCymru initiative which has been designed to better engage coaches in self-guided learning as well as reduce the drop-out rate of coaches in Wales.
There is an annual drop-out rate of about 20% within the estimated 43,000 coaches in Wales. On average a coach spends 2.1 hours coaching a week and whilst the WSA is very proud of the culture of achieving qualifications that exists within Wales, they are concerned that the perception amongst coaches is that gaining a qualification is the end of their coaching development journey. In a bid to combat this culture the CoachingCymru initiative includes and online portal; an easily accessible platform where users can set personal goals, track their progression and access a wealth of online learning materials. The portal was developed with extensive consultation from Welsh National Governing Bodies and as well as this resource CoachingCymru has also piloted several regional seminars, which Dan and Vicki gave summit delegates an experience of during their talk, as well as a virtual tour through the online portal.
To conclude the talk Vicki provided an overview of future plans for the CoachingCymru initiative, including the development of an app, the rollout of the regional seminars to seven welsh regions over the next 18 months and to increase the level of paid professional coaches at community and grassroots levels.
The presentation was incredibly well received by attendees at the summit, with many audience members tweeting their support and approval during and after the presentation. Dan and Vicki were proud to represent Wales on the UK Coaching Summit delivery programme, and were also joined by representatives from Hockey Wales, Welsh Gymnastics, Golf Wales, Sport Wales, Cardiff Metropolitan University and Weightlifting Wales. Next year they are hoping to increase the number of Welsh delegates at the summit, which is an important date in the UK sports coaching calendar.

Milly Kelly on 16/06/2016

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