In sport, leaders is often the word we use for young people and adults who undertake leadership courses as an introduction to coaching.
There are some brilliant opportunities for young people and adults to become leaders. The courses will help them gain the communication, leadership and organisational skills to support your club coaches.
Many of these leaders will then progress onto a sport’s coaching pathway and be able to further support your club.
Listed below are some of the opportunities available:
Sports Leadership Awards
Sports Leaders UK offers a wide range of awards based on leadership for young people from the age of 9 years upwards. These awards include the Playmaker Award, Young Leaders Award, Community Sports Leadership and Higher Sports Leadership. Many Local Authority Sport Development teams across Wales coordinate the training of leaders so it is worth contacting them to see what opportunities exist in your local area. The Sports Leaders UK website contains information on the Awards and Qualifications they offer that could benefit volunteers in your club.
National Governing Body Leader Awards
A number of National Governing Bodies of Sport in Wales have developed their own sport specific Leader Awards which allow learners to develop their communication and organisational skills as well as gaining sport specific knowledge. Contact your National Governing Body to see what they offer.
Duke of Edinburgh Award
A challenging programme of activities aimed at young people aged 14 to 25. There are three levels - bronze, silver and gold. Young people involved in this scheme log their volunteer hours to gain accreditation for a number of activities. For more information visit the Duke of Edinburgh website (www.dofe.org).
The Young Ambassador programme was introduced to Wales in 2009 as a legacy programme for the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games and is delivered in partnership between Sport Wales, Youth Sport Trust and Local Authority Sport Development teams.
It aims to empower and inspire young people to become role models and leaders through sport, by developing their confidence and leadership skills in order to help get ‘Every Child Hooked on Sport for Life’ in their schools and communities. In addition to providing a vast amount of volunteer hours to support the delivery of sport, the Young Ambassadors are helping provide the young person’s voice on sport and physical activity and are challenging schools and the community sport sector to ensure the current offer meets the needs of young people.
In 2015/16 nearly 3,000 Young Ambassadors aged between 9-21 have been recruited across Wales at the four levels of Bronze (primary schools), Silver, Gold and Platinum (secondary schools, colleges, university and community) and receive training locally and nationally on how they can inspire their peers to become more active.
Do you know if any of your current club members are Young Ambassadors? If so, are you using them to their full potential to help support the club? It might also be worth contacting your Local Authority Sport Development team who coordinate the Young Ambassador programme locally as they may have Young Ambassadors, sports leaders or young volunteers that could support you.
Millennium Volunteers is a national volunteer recognition programme for 14-15 years olds coordinated by the Wales Council for Voluntary Action. If you have young leaders, Young Ambassadors or young people volunteering at your club then encourage them to sign up to Millennium Volunteers Sport Awards. If they complete 50 hours of volunteering in sport in school, community or your club, they will achieve the MV50 Sport Award which will impress future employers and add weight to University applications. Many young people who achieve their MV50 Sport then go on to achieve their MV100 and MV200 hour Awards.
Adults at your club may want to undertake a leadership award or qualification to boost their CV or to help them on their coaching pathway journey. Have a look at the Sports Leaders UK website which contains information on various Awards and Qualifications. A number of National Governing Bodies of Sport in Wales have developed their own sport specific Leader Awards which allow learners to develop their communication and organisational skills as well as gaining sport specific knowledge. Contact your National Governing Body to see what leader awards they offer.
Elsewhere on this website, you will find information on recruiting young volunteers – benefits and recruiting tips.
Check out these inspiring films featuring sports leaders across Wales: