From education to employment


The Open University and Sport England have partnered to deliver a free online course to educate and develop sports coaches, officials, instructors and activity leaders.

Available on the OU’s free learning platform, OpenLearn – ‘Coaching Others to Coach’ launches on 8 July and can be studied by anyone at any time.

Developed in consultation from UK Sport, UK Coaching and leading practitioners from various National Governing Bodies (NGBs) and supported with National Lottery funding, the Badged Open Course (BOC), that has a digital badge awarded on completion, is aimed at professional and volunteer coach developers.

The course covers:

  • How adults learn
  • The skills and communication behaviours of those coaching coaches
  • How to make sense of complex learning environments
  • Observing practice and providing feedback to coaches
  • Understanding and recognising expertise in coach development

Ben Oakley, Professor of Sports Performance Education said:

“Bringing together expertise from a range of leading organisations and bodies in the sports industry, this new course will help develop the people who coach the coaches – an important and essential part of the workforce. After months in the making, we’re looking forward to seeing the impact that this course will have in supporting coaches in becoming even better at what they do.”

Stuart Armstrong, Head of Coaching at Sport England commented:

“Coaches, volunteers and officials are constantly going above and beyond to make sure millions of people can get active right across the country. But we know that with the right support they could be even more effective in retaining the people currently getting active, while attracting people new to sport who may have felt it wasn’t for them.

“That’s why we’re delighted to see the launch of this innovative online course developed by The Open University with National Lottery funding and support from the sports sector. We are excited to see the benefits that providers of sport and physical activity, especially those who coach the coaches, gain from this course, not only in improving their offering and building their expertise but also in creating inclusive, engaging and attractive environments to support more people getting active.”

Coaching Others to Coach’ is the 50th BOC by OpenLearn, which coincides with 50 years since The Open University was formed. OpenLearn continues to build on its ethos of breaking down barriers to education by reaching millions of learners each year through its free resources.

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