After lots of planning and consideration, April saw Nottinghamshire FA run their very first Level 1 coaching course which was specifically aimed at aspiring coaches with a disability.
The course was organised by Sara Dickinson and Fiona Cantwell and was led by Dave Long one of Nottinghamshire FA’s affiliate tutors. Through working alongside Active4Today, the course was held at Newark Academy which was a familiar setting to all of the coaches who attended.
On the first day, six ambitious coaches turned up raring to get started. Despite the weather trying to ruin the fun, the course proved to be a great success for everyone involved. On the last day, they were visited by England international amputee footballer, Ben Houghton, who presented awards to the coaches at the end of the course.
We spoke to Ben who had this to say: “It is all about participation in the sport at all levels, with everyone from all levels and different backgrounds, which is great to see. Even if you do have a disability then sport is still there for everyone - There are a lot of positive things happening at the moment and today is just another example of that.”
After gaining the qualification, the coaches are now able to help out at local clubs and get more young people involved in sport.
We would like to personally thank Dave Long for his work throughout this course. He said “It is always great getting new people into coaching, and it is great to be able to offer this opportunity they wouldn’t get otherwise. The course has been tailored to their needs but it is a full level-one qualification and they can take pride in what they have achieved. This is an idea we have wanted to pursue for a long time, so to see it actually come to fruition is great. It is also a learning curve for us as to how we deliver the course, and although we would make small changes I am delighted overall.”
One of the coaches taking part on the course was Matt Johnson, 19, who has autism and ADHD who commented “It has been a fun week learning how to coach children, and I have learnt a lot of new skills,” he said. “Hopefully I will find a way to teach more people and get them into sport.”
Charlie Long, 22, who has myotonic dystrophy, was the oldest to take part, and said he wanted to share his passion for football. “For me it is all about football. That is what I love and I would like to help coach people how to play football."
It’s fair to say that this course is something we are very proud of as a county, and something which we will be looking to progress with in the near future to be able to expand the opportunities available for coaches with a disability.
Congratulations to everyone who took part!