Its been an amazing first year with over a 1000 women signing up to the project and more than half of our year two target reached.
sports coach UK have supported us every step of the way (thank you) and have now produced a report, based on evidence and research carried out over the course of our first year. Whilst its clear there’s still room for improvement, the initial findings are really positive, so we’ve summarised the key findings and recommendations below: –
- Against an overall target of 500 female coaches, over half (53%, 264 coaches) have been supported so far across 37 different sports. It is also clear to see that a genuine culture of support has been established for the coaches, and they have continued to access this support in a variety of ways.
- The project is not only expanding the female coaching workforce in numerical terms, but developing more highly qualified, skilled and better prepared coaches.For example, over a third (35%, 96 coaches) of the coaches supported so far were unqualified when they registered. A quarter of these (24 coaches) now hold a Level 1 or Level 2 coaching qualification, while 34 coaches who were qualified at registration have been upskilled to a higher qualification level.
- Coaches have also highly valued the more informal learning opportunities they have accessed so far. The networking and workshop events have been particularly well received, and this is reflected in how coaches rated themselves in eight key areas.From their knowledge of coaching to interpersonal skills, goal setting and planning sessions, coaches have developed in all areas since becoming involved in the project, and significantly in terms of their technical/tactical abilities and their confidence to coach.
- Those taking part in the evaluation also say they have had a very positive overall experience in the first year.
While continuing to deliver Project 500 at the current pace will ensure all 500 eventual coaches have a very high quality experience, the research highlighted that we can make things even better in the second year.
- Give all coaches high quality information, advice and guidance after they register on the project. This could include clear information on the specific aims of the project and the benefits for coaches, the different support and opportunities available and regular Project 500 e-mail branded updates to help them feel a part of the project. (See Section 4.1.1 for more details)
- To enhance the already highly valued networking events and workshops, give coaches more time to network with other coaches at the events. Also consider developing an online community (possibly using Facebook) to enable them to stay in touch with each other afterwards. (See Section 4.1.2 for more details)
- The only barrier identified by coaches is finding the time to attend all the events and training. Providing video or audio content of key session speakers and workshops via the Project 500 website could help overcome this and ensure coaches who are unable to attend remain fully engaged. (See Section 4.1.2 for more details)
The great news is that we’ve already begun work to respond to the feedback and we’re really greatful to those who took part in the surveys and more in-depth interviews. Your feedback will ensure not only that we achieve our target, but that we develop a really robust and effective system for supporting female coaches, both in the present time and the future.
We encourage all females to support the programme and look forward to another great year of developing our growing female coaching workforce, and in turn providing more choice for participants, but in particular for girls and women.
If you have any additional feedback, thoughts or ideas, please contact us via Facebook or Twitter. Alternatively you can phone or email your local county coaching lead, who’s details can be found on our Contacts page.