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Thursday 11 December 2014

Latest on the Young Coaches' Conference

Building on the success of last year’s Young Coaches’ conference, the 2014 event held at Southampton Solent University on 20 November 2014 saw an increase of more than 50% in attendance levels.


A collaboration between Southampton Solent University, Sport Hampshire & Isle of Wight, and Sport Solent, the programme featured a combination of workshops and presentations in a day rich with opportunities to share knowledge and understanding, develop skills and network.

With the theme for 2014 supporting Project 500 which aims to increase the participation of females in sport, the key note speakers were a triumvirate of influential sporting women, each one a force to be reckoned with in her chosen area of expertise:

  • Laura Edwards, currently a second year student studying Applied Sports Science at Southampton Solent University and Commonwealth Games silver medallist in Artistic Gymnastics.
  • Louise Francis, Head Coach at Gang Warily Gymnastics Club based in the New Forest who has been involved in coaching for 14 years and is also a Tutor and Assessor for British Gymnastics.
  • Lois Fidler one of the most experienced players and top level football coaches involved in national women’s football in England.

“I just wanted to say thank you for involving me in the programme last Thursday,” said Lois, in an email sent the following week, “What a great event and such an exciting opportunity for the students and future coaches. I don’t think they realise how lucky they are!”

Left to right: Louise Francis, Laura Edwards and Lois Fidler

Another highlight of the day was the launch of the Young Coaches’ Academy, a further initiative that has arisen as a result of the excellent partnership that exists between Sport Hampshire and Isle of Wight and Southampton Solent University. The exciting new programme will enable 20 young coaches, in years 12 or 13 and living in Hampshire and the Isle of Wight, to develop their coaching skills in a programme that leads to assessment for the 1st4sport Level 2 Award in the Principles of Coaching.

The attendees will certainly have enjoyed the flavour of university success on the day. The Young Coaches’ conference was held during graduation week and the building was buzzing with graduates, friends and families, enjoying the moment.