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UKA Coach Building A Better Coaching Environment

Children’s Coach


The Children’s Coach Award is a new award that caters for those coaching with the 8 - 12 year old age group.

There are now three streams of Coach award where a coach will initially qualify to operate unassisted: Athletics Coach, Coach in Running Fitness and Children’s Coach. The entry route to each of these awards is via the new Coaching Assistant award, this will feed directly forward to whichever coach stream the coach elects to follow. We do however recognise that the entry points are variable and there maybe coaches entering this programme from Level 1 - 4 or UKCC 1 - 2 backgrounds.

This course is not suitable for those that have previously only completed the old Children in Athletics award, they would need to complete the Coaching Assistant course prior to embarking on this programme.


UKA Children’s Coaches should engage children in fun activities that have the clear purpose of developing techniques and skills, primarily within a multi-skill and multi-event environment. Children should be motivated in athletics by actively participating in developmentally appropriate challenges that are structured to make use of fun competition in an effective and balanced manner. Young children should develop athleticism in an environment that is child-centred; safe, enjoyable, inclusive, well organised, with activities that are appropriate to their developmental stage and needs and that will enhance their overall health and well-being.

This programme aims to provide potential Children’s Coaches with the skills, knowledge and opportunities to lead and develop fun, engaging and appropriate athletics programmes, providing an enjoyable and positive first experience of athletics. The award does not distinguish or pressure performance development but has at its heart child development, active lifestyle and participation as its key messages.

The Children’s Coach will be required to plan termly sessions of athletics (Activity Program), developing both skill across a range of run, jump and throw activities, fundamental movement skills and increase physical fitness and health through participation in regular activity. They should have a good knowledge base of the run, jump throw aspects of athletics and how they apply these to early stages and an awareness building to a working knowledge of all UKA and Home Country athletics products that support child development, i.e. Sportshall athletics and Athletics 365.

With new government proposed ratios of Coach to Young Athletes being set at 1:10 with always two adults present, the organisational side of the role and ability to work with other Coaches, Coaching Assistants and Athletics Leaders is essential to the success of the Children’s Coach. Group size control and challenging culture within the athletics club to ensure that children and athletics can be truly developed will be a key challenge of the newly qualified Children’s Coach.


On successful completion of the award, coaches should be able to plan, deliver and review an 8 week Activity Program for children that:

  • develops fundamental, athletic movement skills suitable for children aged 8 to 12 years old
  • provides engaging and enjoyable activities
  • maximises involvement
  • is more focused on long-term development than short-term performance

We are looking for people to become Children’s Coaches who:

  • are at least 18 years of age
  • can demonstrate some coaching experience e.g. minimum of 3 months as a Coaching Assistant. This experience should be in working with children in the 8-12 years age range
  • Ideally working twice a week with children in a sporting environment (athletics club, school) on a regular basis where they can develop running, jumping and throwing skills
  • have access to facilities and equipment for the duration of the programme: e.g. a large, well lit, safe indoor or outdoor area that is appropriate for use by children. (Equipment to run a programme: mats, cones, ladders, mini hurdles, variety of throwing implements)


  • Practical sessions covering running, jumping and throwing
  • coaching children (8-12 yrs) as opposed to teenagers and / or adults
  • motivating children in a way that stimulates their desire to learn
  • delivering athletics in a safe and child friendly environment that takes into account different levels of ability
  • Plan, deliver and evaluate a series of linked sessions suitable for children aged 8-12 years old
  • Engage and develop the movement skills relating to running, jumping and throwing
  • Physical preparation of children (endurance, coordination, speed, flexibility and strength)
  • Relationship between coaching performance and the performance/behaviours of children




Anyone wishing to attend the Children's Coach programme will need to complete an application form and sign up to the terms and conditions of being a Coach. Forms should be submitted to the education team in the relevant Home Country.
In addition to the application to be licensed, Coaches require a current UKA DBS check; DBS checks are not transferable between sports and other organisations therefore UKA must have a new check made. The DBS itself is free for club volunteers.

For details on how to arrange a DBS check please click here.

Once candidates have registered for the Children's Coach programme they should access uCoach to view resources relating to the programme and the Coach role. Prior to attending day one of the course an Induction Pack should be completed. Candidates should begin work on this documentation as soon as they have booked onto the programme and it must be completed in the two weeks leading up to the first day of the course. Candidates will be at a disadvantage if they have not completed this pre-course preparation as tutors are unable to spend time reviewing subject areas that have not been addressed though pre-course study.

Throughout this programme individuals will be required to work in conjunction with a Support Coach. This role is vital in each candidate’s individual success on the programme.

If a candidate’s club is unable to provide a Support Coach they should contact their Regional / National Coach Education contact who will be able to signpost them to appropriate Support Coaches in their area.


Prior to attendance, candidates will be expected to access, read and complete the Induction Pack and familiarise themselves with the programme resources.

Candidates will be required to coach a group of athletes and to have identified a Support Coach to mentor and assist them throughout and beyond the programme. Clubs, Athletics Networks or Club and Coach Support Officers should be able to advise.

The programme contact time consists of three full days; the first two days are over a weekend with the third day following approximately six weeks later (9 am – 5pm each day). Candidates will be required to attend all three days and engage in two periods of supported practice.

The programme combines classroom-based activity and practical sessions so candidates should come dressed for light exercise, which could take place indoors or outside, and should be prepared for all weather conditions. If there are any medical reasons why an individual cannot take part in activity they should let the tutors know at the beginning of the day.

Throughout the day candidates will be expected to actively engage in all sessions including coaching group activities and participate while others are coaching (where possible). There should be a morning and afternoon break and a lunch break. Please note that lunch is not provided and it is recommended to bring a drink as there is no guarantee of refreshments at all venues. Candidates will be provided with an On Course Workbook to record any learning on the course days, please remember to bring a pen.


Candidates will be required to complete and submit a written Coaching Diary for assessment based on their experience during supported practice and delivery to their profiled athletes. The Coaching Diary must be successfully completed to secure the subsequent place on the Observed Practical Assessment day. The practical assessment is available after day three and the second period of supported practice to allow time for completion of the Coaching Diary.

On the practical day itself, candidates will complete a multiple choice test paper on material covered on course including an assessment of underpinning technical knowledge. After the technical test the Observed Practical Assessments will begin and candidates will deliver two parts of a session while being observed by an assessor. They will also be required to play the role of an "athlete" in the assessments of fellow coaches (where possible). If a candidate is physically unable to take part they should inform the Home Country when their assessment day is confirmed and the assessor at the beginning of the day.

A document entitled "Assessment Guidance for Athletics Coaches" is available. It is strongly recommended that candidates who are considering getting involved in this programme should read this document to raise their awareness of the requirements of the programme in advance of booking, to ensure they are booking on the correct programme for their development needs and for the environment they will be working in.


See your Home Country Athletics Association website for course dates and details.

Pre-Course Material

Please use the right hand navigation menu (scroll to top of this page to view) to find details of the pre-course revision material. You may also like to look at the on course videos before attending.



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