How many coaches do you think coach on a weekly basis in Somerset? 200? 400? 2000?.......
The honest answer is we simply do not know! Whilst anecdotal research suggests that our coaching workforce is increasing year on year and that the number of coaching opportunities is also increasing, we don't know how many coaches currently provide support to the hundreds of thousands of young people and tens of thousands of adults who take part in grass roots, competitive, recreational and elite sport in our county and in the UK.
We do know, however, that coaching is the lifeblood of sport.
"At all levels of society, coaches guide improvement in technical, physical, mental and lifestyle skills, contributing to personal and social development"
The UK Coaching Framework, 2008
Coaches play an important role in supporting children, players, athletes and disabled people to follow their dreams and fulfil their potential. Without enthusiastic, skilled, competent and professional coaches (paid and voluntary) sport would cease to be the powerful and effective catalyst for social change, personal development and enjoyment it is today.
Within Somerset we must work together to ensure that we continue to recognise the immense contribution made by our coaching workforce. Not only must we invest in more coaching opportunities, we must ensure that coaches are held to professional standards and supported to maintain these through the provision of high-quality and cutting-edge development opportunities. Creating a professional resource through Roots 2 Coaching for coaches will ensure that all coaches are not only respected for the services they provide, but are also recognised and rewarded. We aim to do this by introducing the SASP Coach License from September 2010. The License will be available to attain for all coaches registered on the site. The license will ensure that all coaches working in Somerset will be doing so at or above set 'Minimum Standards for Deployment'.
SASP will continue to work closely with both local and national partners to ensure that coaching is given the profile it deserves and creates an environment where coaches and participants continue to be inspired and motivated.