Community Sports Hubs

Local pupils Learn to Coach

10 pupils from East Lothian high schools, undertook the Learn to Coach course


On Thursday 4th and Friday 5th October as part of the Senior Pupil Coach Education programme, ran in partnership between Active Schools and Sports Development, the East Lothian Gymnastics Development Forum (ELGDF) were pleased to run the first accredited coach education course for the programme.  

The programme which has been running for a number of years, sees senior pupils from the six local high schools, sign up for a variety of coach education courses ran in a variety of sports. Previously, gymnastics course have consisted of a variety of different topics including an introduction to coaching gymnastics and to judging gymnastics.

This year, the ELGDF were keen to further support the development of up and coming coaches in their training and as such agreed to financially support the running of the Scottish Gymnastics accredited Learn to Coach qualification. This course, is targeted at 14 and 15 years olds who are interested in supporting the coaching of gymnasts in clubs and classes. At 14 and 15, young people are not able to complete a Level 1 coaching qualification as the minimum age for these courses is 16. However given the young age of many coaches, the Learn to Coach is perfect for supporting young people into the coaching pathway.

The course itself covers three main areas, the roles of a coach, practical coaching skills and a 2 hour safeguarding training session, which together look to prepare young people for taking an active role in gymnastics classes.

Learn to coach

The support from the ELGDF meant that young people were required to pay £15 for the course, making it more accessible for local young people in East Lothian, as the full cost price is £65. The ELGDF agreed to support any young people from an East Lothian high school who were able to attend the course and agreed to volunteer in classes following the course.

Information on the course went out via clubs and schools and 10 young people signed up to undertake the course. They attended the coaching segment of the course on Thursday 4th October where they spent the morning covering the roles of a coach as well as others in clubs who have a fundamental role. After lunch came the practical session where young people were able to have a shot at supporting some skills and thinking about best coaching techniques for a variety of areas including warm ups and  conditioning. These sessions were delivered by Scottish Gymnastics tutor Gemma Archer who travelled to East Lothian to deliver the course.

Young people returned on Friday 5th for their 2 hour safeguarding training which was delivered by Scottish Gymnastics tutor Alison McFarlane. This session covered a number of key areas including how to keep young people and coaches safe, how to create a safe environment and what to do when a concern is raised. The young people showed great knowledge and maturity during the session by demonstrating their understanding around more challenging topics.

Learn to Coach

During the session, the group were visited by Alison Di Rollo, Solicitor General for Scotland who was on a visit to the programme to see the work which has been going on locally around engaging more girls in sport. (Pictured above)

Having now completed the course, the 10 young people will now complete their volunteer hours in local classes and be supported by coaches to develop their skills. The ELGDF are hopeful that with this support the young people will consider undertaking their level 1 coaching qualification in the future.


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