LTA to enhance delivery of coach education with the announcement of a new network of Coach Development Centres
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The LTA has announced improvements to the delivery of education, qualifications and professional development for tennis coaches in Britain, with a restructured approach seeing the selection of leading education providers to operate a network of 12 LTA Coach Development Centres (CDCs) across the country.
The network of CDCs sits at the heart of a new delivery model for tennis coach education that will be in place from 2021, with the LTA managing both the entry and assessment stages of coach qualifications. The new model will enable greater quality control, deliver consistency in coach education and make best use of expertise in local environments across the country.
Innovative procedures will also be introduced to support higher quality and more valid assessments that take place in real-life environments. Video-based assessment will also increase the accessibility of qualifications, as well as providing a learner centred approach to education where candidates undertake assessment where and when they are ready.
A 'Hub & Satellite' structure
Each CDC will have exclusive responsibility to service a cluster of counties in England in delivering LTA Qualifications and LTA CPD, with Tennis Wales and Tennis Scotland delivering coach education in their respective devolved nation, allowing the development of needs based, robust, and localised workforce development plans. They will operate a ‘Hub & Satellite’ structure of venues across their area of responsibility, providing dedicated support to service the needs of the local workforce, and enable closer links to deployment opportunities at a regional level.
Merlin van de Braam, LTA Head of Coach Development, said: “Coaches are the lifeblood of our sport and play a key role to attract and maintain more people in the game. Every year we have around 3,000 coaches taking different levels of qualifications on the LTA coaching pathway, and so we want to ensure that we have a best-in-class coach education system in place across the whole of the UK to help coaches develop and grow the sport.
“With ITF recognition at Gold Level, we are proud of the reputation LTA Coach Education holds, but we know more can be done to equip coaches with the right knowledge and skills to serve the tennis industry of the future. We are therefore delighted to have been able to appoint such a high calibre set of providers to partner with us for the new delivery model and operate our network.
“LTA Coach Development Centres will provide positive learning environments for the future and current workforce of tennis in Britain. They will bring together leading grass roots programmes and coach development industry expertise, including from across several leading universities. As part of a modernised LTA curriculum, CDCs will deliver a core and elective training structure which will enable coaches to specialise within a qualification based on their needs or interests.”
Coach Development Centres
The network will be operational from 2021, with the following organisations having been selected* as Coach Development Centres:
- Carnegie Coach Education at Leeds Beckett University
- Growing the Game
- Loughborough University
- Team Bath Tennis at University of Bath
- Tennis Scotland (in partnership with University of Stirling)
- Tennis Wales (in partnership with Cardiff Met University)
- University of Exeter
- Virtus Leisure Management
- We Do Tennis
- WimX Learning
The selections follow a rigorous three-month tender process, involving the submission of written applications and interviews, and with the support of sports sector qualifications specialist 1st4sport Qualifications, an awarding body recognised and regulated by Ofqual. CDCs were assessed against 30 published criteria across five areas as part of an evidence-based process, with 1st4sport Qualifications scoring applications independently alongside the LTA’s expert panel to help ensure fairness and transparency.
The published criteria for the tender process covered the following five areas:
- An outstanding track record in grass roots programme and player development at the primary (hub) venue
- Quality leadership, people and coach developers
- Culture, vision and mission alignment with the LTA
- Best in class facilities that provide inspirational environments for coach education
- Robust business and financial health
The new delivery model for coach education forms part of the LTA’s Coach Development and Support strategy, which aims to engage coaches with world class development and support opportunities, so they can achieve their potential as a coach, and deliver enjoyable on-court experiences for all. It supports the LTA’s vision to open tennis up to many more people, and it’s work to make tennis relevant, accessible, welcoming and enjoyable to anyone.
*Subject to contract