Coach Core

Coach Core is a training and apprentice coach development programme for 16-23 year-olds living in London’s most disadvantaged communities.

Greenhouse piloted the first Coach Coach programme, funded by The Royal Foundation of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry, in July 2012.

Over the last year, Greenhouse has been mentoring and training apprentices to gain work experience and qualifications (NVQs, Coaching Qualifications and more), to become the next generation of technically excellent, well-rounded coaches.

Given the success of the Greenhouse pilot, the Coach Core programme has since been rolled out to Glasgow, in partnership with Glasgow Life and America, in partnership with Harlem RBI.

The history of Coach Core

The Royal Foundation of The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry wanted to develop a sports programme in recognition of London hosting the Olympic Games and developed the Coach Core concept with Greenhouse.

The Coach Core programme

The pilot programme launched in July 2012 with the aims of achieving the following outcomes:

  • Provide an opportunity for young people engaged in sport who are not following a pathway to higher education, professional sports performance careers or taking up other education and employment and therefore are at higher risk of becoming NEETS (Not in Education, Employment or Training)
  • Provide them with the recognised qualifications and training required by employers;
  • Provide them with the first hand working / professional experience required by employers;
  • Provide them with professional coaching and employment experience enabling them to gain an understanding of professional responsibilities and increasing employability skills.


Where we are now

Phase Two (Feb 2013 – current): Twenty-three apprentices successfully progressed to Phase Two and have become official paid Greenhouse Coach Core Apprentices. Since February they have been;

  • Formally assessed by Greenhouse then verified by a body responsible for awarding apprenticeship certificates
  • Continuing their ‘on the job’ training building on their experience so far, working at more than one programme for a minimum of 8 hours a week.
  • Attending “Create Development” training and National Governing Body Level 2 coaching courses.
  • If required, been receiving Maths and English teaching to ensure they are successfully reaching the equivalent of Grade C GCSE in both.
  • Recording their personal progress on custom-built software called ‘The Wheel’. They have been using this colourful computer programme to record their progress, demonstrate their experiences and identify any weaker skills. The Wheel also allows them to upload pictures and video evidence.
  • Gaining external experience such as helping volunteer on behalf of the charity or attending fundraising events.


Phase One (Sep 2012 – Jan 2013): Greenhouse recruited 30 young people as trainee apprentices from its existing participant base in September 2012. Over a period of three months they attended classroom based training around Child Protection, Child-Centered Learning and Coach Core’s key aims. They also volunteered as sports coaches under the guidance of Greenhouse Head Coaches and were assigned personal metors in their chosen sports. Those who demonstrated commitment and the aptitude for further training were chosen to progress to Phase 2.

Aims for the future

In addition to the individual benefits to the trainee coaches, the ultimate outcome is to increase the number of professional coaches in the UK, inspiring more young people in disadvantaged communities through sport.

The pilot is expected to be completed by the start of 2014 and will be independently evaluated. The hope is that the project can then be rolled out further to become a national initiative, improving sports coaching across the country.

Coach Core could then be adopted by sporting governing bodies (such as the Football Association, Rugby Football Union, Welsh Rugby Union) and local football clubs and other community organisations.

To find out more and to read about the launch of Coach Core please click here or see a video of the launch here 

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