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Credit to the coaches ensuring a safe return to sport

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Sport Wales is marking UK Coaching Week (14-18 September) by thanking all of the dedicated sports coaches who are adapting to the challenges of keeping the nation active during these testing times.

From grassroots to the elite, the role of a sports coach has never been so important. During lockdown, club whatsapp groups were pinging to the sound of coaches keeping their members enthused with home training ideas, while many tried their hand at offering online sessions via zoom.

Since restrictions have eased, coaches have embraced the new Covid-19 guidelines to ensure a safe return to sport. They’ve had to quickly familiarise themselves with all of the necessary cleaning and social distancing requirements, adapted their sessions accordingly.

Coach helping a young canoer


Meanwhile, for those who are considering getting involved, it’s now easier than ever for new volunteers to take their first steps on the coaching ladder thanks to the growing number of online courses that sport’s governing bodies are providing.

Sarah Powell, Chief Executive of Sport Wales, the organisation responsible for developing and promoting sport and physical activity in Wales, said: “Welsh sport needs its coaches more than ever. There are countless numbers of unsung heroes out there who, completely voluntarily, are putting in a huge amount of effort to help Welsh sport survive. 

“As an organisation we’d like to join all of the participants, parents and communities across Wales in expressing our gratitude for their efforts. Without our coaches, the amazing benefits of sports participation would be lost for so many. 

“We’d also like to recognise the outstanding work of our funded partners, such as the Football Association of Wales, Welsh Netball and Welsh Rugby Union for the innovation they have shown in in adapting to the new circumstances by developing more online courses to boost skills and confidence among coaches. Other governing bodies including Welsh Fencing are also amending their course content to equip coaches with the technical knowledge required to run their own online sessions.” 

Gower Riders coach leading an online cycling workshop
Gower Riders coach leading an online cycling session


Research carried out during lockdown by Savanta ComRes on behalf of Sport Wales suggested that an army of new volunteers are keen to play their part in helping grassroots sport bounce back from the Covid-19 crisis.

There are currently around 10 per cent of people in Wales who are volunteers in sport, but that number could soon treble as 30% of adults who took part in a survey into exercise habits during lockdown said that they were likely to volunteer in the next 12 months to support sport and physical activity in Wales.

Given the population of Wales, this suggests that around a million people might be considering volunteering in sport!

Sarah Powell added: “There is obviously a difference between good intentions and actually making a firm commitment to coach, but it is wonderful to hear that there is potentially a large group of people who have a new enthusiasm to get involved in some way. A collective effort will be vital as we strive to protect the sporting opportunities that we have worked so hard to develop in Wales.”

If you’re interested in volunteering, please speak to your local club to find out more about the opportunities that are available. 

If you run a sports club in Wales and would like to get advice on recruiting and training volunteers, please visit to find out more.