Coaches highly valued by the British public

Coaches highly valued by the British public, but concerns from coaches remain says lead body

New statistics, released by UK Coaching during UK Coaching Week, show that the majority of Brits believe coaches will help nation become fitter and more active, however, 9 in 10 coaches are concerned about the poor mental and physical health of their participants.

The role that coaches play in inspiring people to be active will become increasingly significant as we emerge from the coronavirus crisis, with 72% of the British public saying that coaches and instructors will be important in supporting and encouraging people to get back into physical activity after the pandemic.

The coronavirus crisis has had a huge impact on the nation’s activity levels, with 1.2 million more adults now classed as ‘inactive’ (up 2.6% to 27.1%) and less than half (44.9%) of children and young people meeting the Chief Medical Officer’s guidelines of 60 minutes a day. The pandemic has also impacted the nation’s mental well-being, with new data from UK Coaching showing that nearly 9 in 10 coaches (87%) are concerned about the poor mental and physical health of participants. Additionally, nearly half of all coaches (47%) said one of the biggest challenges currently facing them is motivating people to return to sport and physical activity.

Coaches will be central to the nation’s restart, with research conducted by YouGov on behalf of UK Coaching revealing that 7 in 10 adults (70%) believe grassroots coaches and instructors are important in helping Britain become a fitter and more active society.

And the vital work that coaches deliver is being understood and appreciated more than ever, with over two thirds (69%) of the nation believing it is important for society to value the role that coaches and instructors play in keeping local communities active.

Yet concerns amongst coaches remain and UK Coaching, the lead charity for coaches in Britain, fear that coaches aren’t receiving the support they need in order to continue playing this vital role in communities.

With the Covid-19 pandemic causing many people to consider the need to be fitter and more active, nearly 6 in 10 (57%) of coaches surveyed are concerned about the increased cost of facilities and almost half (48%) said they needed to offer lower priced activities to enable wider access. Access to funding and facilities also remains a barrier, with 40% of those surveyed raising concerns about the need for updated facilities in encouraging their local community to return, as well as increased access to funding for equipment (34%) and to reopen local facilities (31%).

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