Introducing child centred training for children’s coaches in the school sport environment is the vision behind a new programme led by a children’s charity and UK Coaching.
At present, there is no widely recognised national training or quality standard for coaching children in sport. ‘TOP Coach’ has been developed by the Youth Sport Trust, the charity who brought the world-famous TOPs programmes to every primary school in the country in the 1990’s.
It responds to the need to increase activity levels in young children and a growing demand from head teachers for an easily recognizable accreditation mark. The programme will give clarity and confidence to parents, schools and community organisations when looking for specialist child coaches in the school environment.
Currently being piloted with coaches from British Gymnastics and Premier Education –the programme will launch in February and will be aligned to the new national standards from Chartered Institute for the Management of Sport and Physical Activity (CIMPSA).
Trainees on the TOP Coach programme will undergo a series of short courses, complete face-to-face training, and online learning. Delivered by tutors experienced in youth and school sport, the course supports and challenges coaches to understand the important factors contributing to appropriate physical development of children. It also looks at the wider outcomes including personal, social, cognitive and creative development, along with the important nuances of delivering sport in a school setting.
TOP Coach will address the challenges of inconsistent training and assessment criteria through the current coach accreditation system and create an entry point into the industry for the next generation.
David Batch, Premier Education CEO, said:
“With over 1,200 passionate professionals delivering in schools daily, we are always striving to maintain and improve the highest delivery standards for the benefit of all the young people attending our events. We are looking forward to collaborating on this pilot with Youth Sport Trust and investigating new ways of raising the bar further.”
David Marshall, Participation Director at British Gymnastics, said:
“We are committed to helping improve the standards of the delivery of sport, specifically gymnastics in primary schools. It is important that we provide children with the best quality experience of sport, helping them to develop positive attitudes towards participation. Through being involved in the programme we are supporting coaches to understand how to deliver high quality and relevant activities in schools.”
Click here to register your interest in accessing TOP Coach when available.