Innovation Exchange

Sports Coach Academy


Key activities

Benefits and impacts


Working in partnership with Renfrewshire Leisure, Renfrewshire Council's Sports Coach Academy traineeship programme provides employability opportunities for young people from looked after or accommodated backgrounds. Focusing on 16-21 year olds, the programme offers a year long full time leadership, training and employability programme with the opportunity to become a Sports Coach within Renfrewshire Leisure at the end of their traineeship. This project forms part of Renfrewshire’s Tackling Poverty Strategy and Action Plan.


Theme: Employability

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Seven young people are being trained as sports coaches within Renfrewshire Leisure and will have the opportunity for employment with Renfrewshire Leisure at the end of their traineeship. The seven young people started in October 2015 and all have looked after or accommodated backgrounds.  The trainees were recruited through Invest in Renfrewshire, the Council’s Economic Development programme.


Trainees complete courses in:


  • Child Protection, Positive Coaching Scotland (PCS)
  • Top Play/Sport, Rugby (YCC), Bikeability, Boccia Sports Coaching
  • Disability Awareness in Sport and Physical Activity
  • Badminton – Fun Games For Beginners
  • Nicas, 1st Aid, Basketball Referee, Health Walk Leader


Trainees participate in workshops covering:


  • Football Referee, Volleyball, Basketball, Ultimate Frisbee
  • Future courses planned include: Pool Lifeguard, Cycle Ride Leader and
  • UKCC Level 1 paddling


The trainees provide support to a range of community based initiatives such as Breakfast Clubs, Families First holiday clubs, health weeks and schools events.

  • Employability opportunities for those hardest to reach individuals
  • Ambassadors for other young people in their community
  • Increase in self esteem and personal well being
  • Increased hours of sports coaching provision within community settings
  • A six week recruitment period is required in order to get the information of the course round the ‘houses’ and to the social work department.
  • Liaison with the job centre and Invest Renfrewshire is crucial to ensure that prospective trainees are given clear financial advice before committing to the programme.
  • The programme was designed to take on 20 young people for the first 4 weeks then to select 10 from 20 to proceed for the 11 month period. The 10 who were not successful would be supported into other positive destinations.
  • Having taken advice from Invest Renfrewshire, the model we introduced was a paid traineeship. Trainees are paid £8.25 per hour for 21 hours per week and undertake a further nine hours of training per week.
  • The duration of the programme is flexible but we agreed on a year long programme to allow all trainees to work within Active Schools, Sports Development as well as within our sports facilities.
  • By the end of the training period the trainees will be able to step into any role within the leisure industry.
  • Numerous departments of Renfrewshire Council have come together to provide additional support to some of the young people. Most, if not all of the young people required 1:1 support to deal with issues out with their normal day activities.
  • Due to the high level of support required for each trainee, a dedicated worker was allocated to manage and support the trainees throughout the programme.

Contact details:

To find out more about this case study, please contact:


Fiona Watson

Sport & Health Services Manager

Renfrewshire Leisure

0141 842 3004

Case study added to site: June 2016

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