USW RISe Research and Innovation Award Winner 2017. Best Contribution to Society.
Sport has been identified as an appropriate vehicle for the development of life skills in young people through principles associated with positive youth development. However, the theory and practice associated with the process of developing life skills through sport was limited. In addition, the WFT began to express the desire for ensuring that grassroots coaches were able to facilitate the development of ‘good people’ through their coaching practices rather than simply developing football players. The aim here was to ensure that the sport (of football) could have a wider social impact by developing the types of skills in youth that help to improve the functioning of society. Consequently, we worked with the WFT to design, develop, implement and evaluate an evidence-based life skills development programme for the coaches undertaking Level 2 and Level 3 coaching qualifications. The project has resulted in a change of coach education policy in the WFT in that their Level 2 and Level 3 qualifications have been re-structured to include modules that are based on our life skills development programme. These modules are now fully integrated into the WFT’s suite of education courses. Consequently, every coach undertaking their Level 2 and/or Level 3 coaching qualification in Wales is educated through our life skills development programme.