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Scotland making coach education modern and accessible

To create a world class player in any sport, coaching is vital. By increasing the number of coaches, the quality of coaching and the depth of talent within coaching, this will ultimately increase performance levels on the green from grass roots to the Commonwealth Games and World Championships.
My name is Adam Martin and I have the fantastic role of coach and volunteer manager for Bowls Scotland. I am also delighted to be a member of World Bowls brand new Coach Advisory Group created in late 2023.
With the COVID-19 pandemic slamming the brakes on our sport worldwide, we took this as an opportunity to discuss with all involved about how best move our coach education opportunities forward into a more modern and accessible pathway and target a wider range of coaches from a diverse background.
More diverse
coaching workforce
Bowls Scotland are aiming to ensure the coaching workforce is representative of our players across the country and to ensure this continues to happen, 2024 has seen the creation of our first ever Bowls Coach Education Subsidy Grant open to all Scottish clubs.
This grant scheme, funded by Sportscotland and Bowls Scotland opens an initial fund of ยฃ6,000 which will allow coaches from all over our nation to access FREE Coach Education Courses and Workshops provided they are from one of our lower represented groups. In our current cost of living crisis across Scotland, cost should never be a barrier to prevent coaches developing and growing their experience.
To ensure this diverse workforce we are looking for the following: more female coaches, more coaches with a disability, more coaches aged Under 25, more coaches from socially deprived areas, more coaches from rural villages and towns.
If a coach meets one or more of the criteria above, they are eligible to apply for funding to secure free places on our coaching courses throughout 2024 season. It is our hope this will encourage that more diverse coaching workforce we want across Scotland, as well as removing a barrier to cost.
For more information, please visit: https://www.bowlsscotland.com/news/coach-education-subsidy
Online learning
Technology is now a firm part of everyday life, and bowls should be
no different.
To ensure we have more dynamic in-person coach education sessions we have collaborated with our partners at Sportscotland to develop an online learning platform for bowls coaches alongside our other sporting bodies called Brightspace. This portal allows each coach to access a raft of reading materials, videos, and resources as well as quizzes and tests which they must complete prior to attending any of our education opportunities.
This in turn allows some of the theory-based education to be removed from delivery and frees up more time on the green for practical hands-on tutoring. Another positive step is that our in person sessions can now be shorter in time commitment, making them easier to attend for individuals who are studying, working full time or have family commitments.
With our sport attracting coaches from all age demographics, there was always a concern that online learning would be difficult to embed. But after three full seasons of this innovative approach, 98% of individuals who have attended our coaching courses have managed to complete the online learning and around 90% of coaches completing the online learning section at first time of asking.
Player development framework
Across the world in all sports, coaches are always looking for fresh ideas and fresh resource to ensure their sessions do not get boring or repetitive.
To combat this, we have created our player development framework, which is a series of eight activities which each have different targets or objectives which can be made easier or harder. The aim is to complete all eight activities at bronze level, then move up to silver before finally the hardest challenges at gold level.
All these resources are designed to be digitally shared and sent to coaches via email, allowing them to share with players or fellow coaches to ensure the quality of coaching experiences at all levels is as high a quality as it can be. Some clubs have even shared them with their entire membership as a practise tool.
We have had a fantastic response to our framework with almost 300 coaches now signed up to use this across Scotland. We are now looking to develop the framework and upscale to be included at all levels of our player development opportunities.

For more information, visit:


If any World Bowls member is interested in learning more about how you can use any of our resources in your own country, Bowls Scotland is always happy to assist any affiliated countries in their development and progression for the benefit of
the sport.

To discuss any coach education options, please contact myself via email: adammartin@bowlsscotland.com

Caption: Coaching is vital to create a world class player

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