If you’re disabled and would like some additional support to become a leader or coach then we’d be happy to help you. Please register for the course you’d like to attend and then follow the registration instructions to declare a disability and request the additional support you’d like and we’ll be in touch to arrange it where possible.
Here’s some examples of the support we have provided previously:
- BSL interpreters
- Printed resources in large print
- Support on course (bring a scribe, bring a guide, bring a buddy)
- Bite size learning (complete a course in smaller chunks)
Oliver Minns has Cerebral Palsy and a learning disability and qualified as an Athletics Coach in 2016
As an active athlete and member of Orwell Panthers Athletics club he started helping at the club by demonstrating for the coaches and was asked if he wanted to become a coach himself. He attended an Assistant Coach course where another coach from the club attended with him to scribe and assist him through the course.
He then wanted to continue to the Coach Award. He wasn’t sure about the theory side of the course so his support coach at Orwell Panthers Margaret Nicholls phoned England Athletics and asked if he could have somebody go with him to support him. Margaret explains, “They were very enthusiastic about this and let the tutor know that his mother would accompany him to act as a scribe and support Oliver throughout the day. They also said that I could read the questions for the theory on-line. I was amazed at what he had taken in by the quick answers to the questions; and his dictating of all his plans and theory ready for his assessment. I wrote down exactly as he said it. He passed with flying colours.’”
Oliver is now coaching his own group at Orwell Panthers as well as still training himself and competing for Ipswich Harriers.
Here’s how Oliver found it: “I was nervous at the start of the course but it got easier as I became more confident and praise from the tutor. I like being able to say ‘I am here to coach not train – I train at Ipswich Harriers.’ I recommend anybody to become a coach as it about knowledge and skill not about the reading and spellings!”
Mark Palmer has Down’s Syndrome and qualified as a Coaching Assistant in 2018
Having trained with Exeter Harriers for 10 years, last year Mark decided to take his Level 1 Coaching Assistant course.
‘’I love athletics, especially running. I want to help others enjoy it too. My coaches, Brian O’Hare and Kevin Skinner, have helped me a lot and still do. They are great role models. I like seeing others keeping active, enjoying themselves and making a lot of progress. It’s good even when the weather is cold and wet.’’
Mark was offered support for the course, he explains how this helped. ‘’I didn’t ask for help but another Exeter Harrier gave me the course book; we took it on holiday to France and each day we read a bit and talked about it. The really helpful admin person in the England Athletics’ office offered me the course slides beforehand, which was useful. My Mum sat in on the course in case I needed help, but I didn’t, I was just fine. Everyone on the course was friendly and we all worked together. The 2 course tutors were very clear and a lot of the course was practical. ‘’
To other people with disabilities, who are keen on athletics and want to help others and become a coach, I say, “Go for it!”.