The Inaugural Lecture of Professor Patrick Duffy
Updated 25 January 2012
The public lecture, held at the University's Rose Bowl, examined the traditional view of sport coaching as an emerging profession and the relationship between sport coaching and other coaching disciplines, such as business. Professor Duffy also investigated how a more integrated approach to sport coaching can increase its importance within the development of the social, cultural and economic fabric of the UK.
Patrick commented: "Over a million people are involved in sport coaching in the UK each year, yet the recognition of this activity as a professional area is still well behind the expectations of coaches, national governing bodies and government funded organisations. In order to address this position, there is a need to recognise the blended nature of the coaching workforce, which consists of over 70% volunteers; around 25% part-time coaches and 5% full-time. The support and development of coaches should recognise their volunteer/employment status and should be tailored to the needs of participants in four main areas: children; talent development; high performance and participation."
Patrick's research focuses on policy and sport coaching, as well as applying sports coaching to a business context. He is currently involved in a major project with Morrisons PLC - Coaching for Performance - which integrates best practice from across business, sport and coaching to develop the skills of Morrisons staff, embedding coaching capabilities into the day-to-day roles of managers and team leaders throughout the organisation and providing the University with an invaluable opportunity to research the application of sports coaching concepts in a business.
Patrick began his 30-year career as a PE teacher and has held highly-esteemed roles at major national sporting organisations including Director of the National Coaching and Training Centre (Ireland) and Group Chief Executive of Sports Coach UK.
For the last 15 years, his work has focused on the translation of policy objectives, research and technical principles into athlete and coach development programmes at national and European level.
He is Vice President (Europe) of the International Council for Coach Education and the chairman of the European Coaching Council. He has also recently been appointed joint chair of the ICCE- Association of Summer Olympic International Federations project group to develop the International Sport Coaching Framework.