Published 22 October 2021

Young people who want to pursue a career in sport have volunteered to attend the second year of the Coaching Academy organised by West Dunbartonshire Leisure Trust.

The Coaching Academy, run by West Dunbartonshire Leisure’s Active Schools team, will give 55 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 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.

Dumbarton Academy

Vale of Leven Academy

Our Lady and Saint Patrick's

Saint Peter the Apostle


The Apprentice 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 can progress to the Academy Coaches programme.

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

Former Academy Coach, Polly Anderson, 17 from Clydebank, is currently attending the City of Glasgow College where she is studying Sports Coaching, has been involved in supporting the project this year.

Polly said: “I was keen to volunteer as I enjoy sports and I enjoy helping others.  The course helped me gain more qualifications and also gave me the opportunity to volunteer and experience as a coach.  The course has helped me with my confidence and helped me to speak in public and become a better coach.

She continued: “I would definitely recommend others to sign up for the course as long as you’re committed this will be a great opportunity even if you’re not considering a career in sports.  I would like to thank everyone at the Leisure Trust for the great opportunity as volunteering has helped me secure my place at college and also led to other volunteering roles.  

The programme, funded by the Lottery , will run for three years and the skills gained through the project will prepare the pupils for employment and  further education.

Jack McLaffery, 16, from Our Lady & St Patrick’s High School said: “I’ve really enjoyed meeting people from other schools and hearing more information regarding the programme.”

Billy Greig, 17, Clydebank High School, said: “It was a really enjoyable day and very informative. I’m really excited about starting my coaching journey. “

Provost William Hendrie, Chair of West Dunbartonshire Leisure Trust, added: “The Coaching Academy offers a fantastic opportunity to young people in West Dunbartonshire who are considering pursuing a career in sport. 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 gaining valuable experience in the sports industry through placements. The Coaching Academy will also mean Active Schools will have more young coaches delivering in the area, resulting in the children and young people of West Dunbartonshire being more active, more often.”