Published 22 October 2020

A new coaching programme to support young people in West Dunbartonshire who want to pursue a career in sport has been launched.

The Coaching Academy, run by West Dunbartonshire Leisure’s Active Schools programme, will give 48 secondary pupils in the area’s high schools the opportunity to gain invaluable employability skills and sports qualifications. 

The pupils will be trained and developed as either Academy Coaches or Apprentice Academy Coaches, with the Academy Coaches working towards a Level 1 qualification in a sport of their choice as well as completing courses including first aid, child protection and disability awareness training.

The Academy Coaches will also complete a 20-hour volunteer placement, supporting and delivering sports sessions within their own high school, local primary school and/or the wider community.

The 22 Apprentice Academy Coaches will gain an introductory coaching award as well as receiving first aid and child protection training. They will participate in a 10-hour volunteer placement and after successfully completing the apprentice year, they will progress to the Academy Coaches programme.

All pupils involved in the programme will receive branded Coaching Academy kit to wear and will be PVG checked.

The programme will run for three years initially, after being awarded £43,000 funding from the Young Start Lottery Fund.

Provost William Hendrie, Chair of West Dunbartonshire Leisure Trust, added: “The Active Schools team have a wealth of experience to share with our school pupils and will be on hand to guide and support them as they undertake these practical qualifications, as well as gain valuable experience in the sports industry through placements. The Coaching Academy will also means Active Schools can have more young coaches delivering in the area, resulting in the children and young people of West Dunbartonshire being more active, more often.”

David Marshall, Vice Chair of West Dunbartonshire Leisure Trust, said: “The Coaching Academy offers a fantastic opportunity to young people in West Dunbartonshire who are considering pursuing a career in sport. The skills they will learn through the project will prepare them for their next steps in life - whether that is into employment or further education, and I look forward to hearing of their progress.”