Across the span of four days, 12 promising teenagers engaged in a Level 2 Coaching Qualification course provided by Doncaster’s Flying Futures organisation. However, since safety comes first, it only made sense to kick-off the lesson with a first-aid induction from a member of the British Red Cross. During the crash course, students learnt the essentials of dealing with individuals in critical conditions and practiced basic protocols on CPR dummies. Once the safety elements were established, members from Flying Futures began sharing their knowledge on the fundamentals of being a coach.
Students were first asked to identify characteristics of good leaders and bad leaders and then spent time understanding the differences between leadership skills and behaviours. They then assessed themselves in regards to the skills and behaviours that they possessed and identified areas for improvement. After spending hours in the classroom, students were eager to take part in an activity organised by the instructors. They were required to work in teams and rely on their memory to complete obstacle courses that became more difficult as they progressed. Fortunately, the ambitious teens managed to work well together and complete the courses early enough to spend their spare time enjoying the parkour facilities provided at Evolve.
Day two consisted of understanding how to put together a lesson plan so that students could develop their own activity and lead the class on day three. Each individual applied the knowledge they learnt over the past two days to come up with their own unique activity, explain it to their peers, coach them through the actions, assist those in need, and encourage and motivate the class. Activities ranged from obstacle courses to boxing sessions and each student managed to successfully demonstrate the leadership skills that they possessed. Those who were reserved at the start of the course emerged out of their shell to fulfill a more assertive role and it was exciting to see their confidence grow!
The final task that students were required to fulfill was to plan a full-fledged event. The class was split into two groups and each team developed their own organizational structure, delegated tasks amongst one another and led the other half to participating in the event that they designed.
Upon completing this intense four-day course and demonstrating ambition, commitment, teamwork and leadership skills, each student successfully obtained a Level 2 Coaching Qualification certificate. They will all be required to apply their newly acquired skills through completing a minimum of 10 hours of volunteer work revolving around coaching and mentoring younger individuals in different sports.
The Rio Ferdinand Foundation would like to thank the British Red Cross, Flying Futures, and Evolve Manchester for providing the mentors and facilities to allow for the successful delivery of this course!