carnegieXchange: School of Sport

Launch event for Research Centre for Sport Coaching a big success

An online conference Sport Coaching 2020-2030 heralded the launch of the Carnegie School of Sport’s new Research Centre for Sport Coaching (RCfSC). The event, held on 14th July 2021, was also an opportunity to celebrate the legacy of the late Professor Pat Duffy, Carnegie colleague, and a leader within the International Council for Coaching Excellence, UK Coaching and Coaching Ireland, who did so much to promote sport coaching across the globe.

Group of men in sports kit in a sports hall

The RCfSC aims to reach out to a broader network of stakeholders to develop and promote sport coaching, as well as the work of staff and students here at Leeds Beckett. The conference was designed to highlight the Centre’s four main themes which are:

  • effective and ethical coaching
  • coach learning, development and education
  • coaching policy and systems
  • applied sports science for coaches.

There were 15 speakers in total, from the UK and North America. Each of the invited speakers were asked to present a personal insight into the developments of one of the themes that might be envisioned in the coming ten years.

The speakers ranged across community coaching, coach development, governing bodies of sport, and agencies responsible for sport in the UK and globally, such as Diccon Edwards from UK Sport and Heather Douglas from UK Coaching. They also included notable academics, including Professors Jean Côté and Dr Bettina Callary, and the RCfSC’s own Professors Leanne Norman and John Lyle.

The speakers were positive and optimistic about the further development of sport coaching in the coming decade. It was acknowledged that the professionalisation of sport coaching was at a different stage of development in each country, but there were common themes about the need for increased workforce diversity, greater dialogue through partnership working, and the role of higher education. Speakers stressed the contribution of support services for coaches’ practice, attention to coaches’ wellbeing, the importance of leadership, and making research relevant to practising coaches.

The conference was a tremendous success. During the event, over 350 individuals accessed the conference platform or joined the broadcast on YouTube. The feedback was universally positive. Ricardo Vasconcelos, National Coaching & Workforce Manage for England Handball, said:“Everything from content to format was spot on and kept me engaged. Extremely well done!

Mark Orme, a Sport Consultant said: “I thoroughly enjoyed the day. It was extremely thought provoking with excellent presenters. Look forward to the next one.”

Director of the Research Centre for Sport Coaching, Professor Julian North, said: “It is our intention to hold a RCfSC conference each year. This was an exploratory endeavour; first to highlight the Centre to major stakeholders, and, second, to demonstrate the value of promoting dialogue across all stakeholders. The Centre’s objective of acting as a forum for discussion, debate, and development is off to a very promising start”.

If you want to find out more about the Centre visit our webpages:

Twitter: @CarnegieRCFSC or join our mailing list:

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