Nike announced a partnership with iCoachKids, a not-for-profit global movement led by Leeds Beckett University and the International Council for Coaching Excellence, to create best-in-class digital resources for youth coaches and an online community where coaches can exchange knowledge and ideas with peers.
The collaboration also includes the redesign of the iCoachKids website, slated for early 2021.
With a shared commitment to improve the health, wellbeing and participation of young people in sport and physical activity, the partnership focuses on improving the quality of coaching by championing play and sport environments that are fun, safe, inclusive and put kids first.
“A coach can make or break a kid’s experience in play and sport,” shared Caitlin Morris, General Manager of Nike Social & Community Impact at NIKE, Inc. “To make sport more accessible and approachable for all children, we need coaches who can create an inclusive play and sport environment for everyone, regardless of gender identity, background or ability. That’s why our partnership with iCoachKids is so important. Through our collective efforts, we hope to increase the quality, quantity and diversity of trained volunteer youth coaches, which is a key part of Nike’s Made to Play commitment.”
Research by Leeds Beckett University found that currently 80% of coaches in the EU are volunteers. Education for these coaches is often fragmented, with a large number of them operating without appropriate training or qualifications. Other studies by the University also show that women and people from minority ethnic backgrounds are underrepresented in coaching.
Dr Sergio Lara-Bercial, a Reader in Sport Coaching at Leeds Beckett University and co-founder of the movement, reiterated this view, adding, “iCoachKids is all about the creation of positive experiences for children in and through sport. At Leeds Beckett University, we believe the coach is the architect of this environment and that children need coaches who care deeply about them and are keen to understand their lives in and out of sport.
We work to influence policy and practice in youth sport, and our partnership with Nike will allow our educational resources to reach thousands of coaches and organisations globally – and will ultimately help children achieve their full potential…”