Track Academy by Connie Henry in Willesden has become the only club in London to offer a free accredited training course for young athletics coaches of the future.
The Game Changers Young Volunteer Programme will see participants aged between 14 and 25 train to become assistant club coaches, gaining the equivalent of a Level One coaching badge.
Four Track Academy students have already started the course, which is offered in conjunction with the College of North West London. A further six places are currently available.
Each participant will spend 21 hours at the academy fulfilling the criteria of the course, which includes observing and assisting a designated senior coach in order to gain invaluable knowledge and skills. Students will be entitled to travel expenses, while those under 18 must obtain consent from their parents or guardians.
Academy founder Connie Henry said: “The student will be monitored throughout their training, and will be assessed on their communication, commitment, time management, engagement and participation.
“This is a wonderful opportunity for young people with a genuine interest in athletics. It is a personal development platform for further training, while it will develop their key skills and communication. Once they’ve completed their training they will be able to volunteer at Track Academy and at other athletics or running clubs."
She added: “We hope to be able to open this course up to even more students in the future, and are proud that we’re the only London club providing this opportunity at the moment.”
The Game Changers Young Volunteer Programme is funded by England Athletics’ partners Spirit of 2012. It is also part of the Team Personal Best campaign, which aims to inspire more people to get involved in grassroots athletics.
Track Academy is a registered charity which uses sport for social change among young people from disadvantaged backgrounds. Based at the Willesden Sports Centre in Donnington Road, academy members are given inspiration to succeed both on and off the track.
Alongside athletics coaching, they attend education sessions to help them gain qualifications, encouraging them to carve out fulfilling lives away from negative influences.
For further information about the Game Changers Young Volunteer Programme, contact Yvonne Simpson on firstname.lastname@example.org or call 07956 715052. To find out more about Track Academy, visit www.trackacademy.co.uk.