ONE VOICE CREATES SPORTS COACHES
A local community group is creating a bank of qualified coaches to meet the demand of their sports offers aimed at socially isolated communities in Blackburn.
One Voice Blackburn has created 10 UKCC Netball Coaches, 11 ECB Cricket Coaches, and two UKCC Rounders coaches in the last 18 months. They have plans to create another 40 coaches in the next year with support from various bodies.
One Voice Blackburn runs acedemies in cricket, netball, rounders, badminton, and will soon be launching futsal. The organisation aims many of their services to South Asian heritage women and girls, many of whom do not access physical activity after school. One Voice Blackburn also caters for 120 young people aged between 6 and 14.
Volunteers are encouraged to take up coaching opportunities, with a view of gaining paid coaching work once qualified. Some volunteers are qualified in a combination of sports.
Sports co-ordinator at One Voice Blackburn Sundas Bakhat, who is a qualified UKCC Level 1 coach in both cricket and rounders, says,
“There is huge interest in our cricket academy that has meant that we have had to increase the sessions to meet the demand. It has also meant that we require more coaches. There are some elements of our sporting offers that require female–only coaches, so we have promoted our coaching opportunities to specific groups.
“There are many young women who join the sporting programmes at One Voice because of the quality of the coaching, so it is really important that we continue to develop our workforce.”
The coaching programmes are funded by a variety of bodies including Sport England, Active Lancashire, WEA and NewGround.
Student Yasira Patel, 17, qualified as a cricket coach through Sport England, and gained her UKCC Level 1 qualification through support from Active Lancashire.
“Thanks to One Voice and Active Lancashire I have got opportunities to become a knowledgeable and qualified coach in two sports. It also provides an opportunity for some paid work, but most importantly I enjoy teaching girls new skills in rounders, and teaching children the basics of cricket.”
The coaches are inducted into programmes that include first aid, safeguarding, mentoring from experienced coaches before they are able to complete their qualifications.