Sport For Confidence has been granted funding by Sport England to offer 40 Coaching Practice Placements (CPP). The initiative will enable participants to embed themselves in the Sport for Confidence model across Essex working with a range of different coaches and allied health professionals (AHPs), enhancing their experience, understanding and skill in the delivery of inclusive sport.

The CPP will enable those involved in the delivery of inclusive sport and physical activity programmes, from swimming teachers to social workers, from personal trainers to sports coaches, to adopt inclusive, holistic coaching practices focused on whole person development. Throughout the 40 hours practical placement, participants will be mentored by Sport For Confidence health professionals, offering support, education and guidance to ensure all anticipated learning outcomes are met.

This opportunity, to work alongside an occupational therapist or other allied health professional and get involved in real situation, practical application through working with established Sport For Confidence groups at various leisure centres across Essex, is unique.

Sophie Garratt, occupational therapist at Sport For Confidence and Coaching Practice Placements lead, says: “The CPP provides each participant with a flexible, personalised programme of learning that develops understanding, experience and skills in holistic coaching plus accessible and inclusive sport provision. Participants are invited to select 4 modules from a possible 7, enabling a high degree of tailoring to suit individual needs.”

Each module requires 6 hours of practical application and 2 hours of self-directed study. Participants are also required to attend a four hour induction and a two hour closing event. Practical sessions are supported by reflective practice conducted remotely by phone or Skype and also peer support sessions. The placement can take place in venues across Essex and hours a degree of flexibility is included to accommodate current work and coaching commitments.

Garratt, adds: “Participants who complete the placement will be able to integrate learnings into their own coaching practice, enhancing their skills in the delivery of inclusive sport. Just some of the areas we cover include; how to identify and eliminate barriers to participation, the impact of skill development on occupational performance across all aspects of lives and how to embed person centred practice through collaborative goal setting.”

The initiative has been funded by Sport England to create an opportunity to enhance sports coaching provision and encourage ‘sport for all’. 14 coaches have already signed up to the programme and it is hoped that all 40 placements will be underway by the end of December.

If you are interested in finding out more please contact Sophie Garratt, occupational therapist: sophie@sportforconfidence.com.

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