Young People Take First Coaching Steps With Black Country In Motion

Black Country in Motion is a three year programme funded by the Sport England Get Healthy initiative and delivered by the BeActive Partnership in conjunction with Wolverhampton University, aimed at raising physical activity levels in the most deprived areas of the Black Country.

Over the last two years, Black Country in Motion has worked with over 120 volunteers, funding and supporting many of them to get trained up and qualified to deliver sports sessions for the benefit of people within their own communities across Wolverhampton, Walsall, Dudley and Sandwell.

The 'Go Lead' programme is an accredited qualification developed by Sports Leaders UK. It is made up of practical scenarios which deal with leadership skills, such as communication, organisation, working with others and how to put many different leadership factors into practice.

The Black Country in Motion team were challenged with working with those individuals and groups who were farthest from the sports industry to encourage them to become active, recognising that physical activity can play a part in addressing social and emotional issues as well as build confidence and trust.

To help support some young people from Bilston who had no experience on how to get started as a group or develop their own skills, the BeActive Partnership working with NOVA Training Centre Manager, Mick Skinner, took a group of 10 young people who had never considered being a sports coach, guiding them from zero leadership experience to successfully completing the 8 week 'Go Lead' programme.

Jose Cifuentes is the course tutor, as well as a Black Country in Motion volunteer himself, currently undergoing his Level 2 Football coaching qualification said,

"The Sports Leadership course was a brilliant platform for the young people to excel and showcase their creativity. Overcoming challenges and fears within leadership can be daunting, however I believe each participant faced them head on and were able to gain a very positive outcome."

Through the practical skills of football, the youngsters learned many leadership skills such as team work, facing challenges and confidence. The team were only too keen to share their experiences, excited that their skills on the football field are going to help them with career and life decisions.

"The whole experience has been great. I've learnt a lot about teamwork. I used to do things on my own, but now I know that working in a team makes for a better experience, and is more efficient for certain things that you do, such as if you go for a job, you ain't gonna work on your own, you're going to be part of a team." - NOVA Training 'Go Lead' participant.

Asked whether they could have lead or managed a group at the start of the course, participants confirmed their lack of confidence.

"I wouldn't have been able to, no. I would have been too, not shy, but like, embarrassed in case I'd have done something wrong.'

"I'd never thought about coaching, but would consider it now, because now I understand what coaching's all about, before I used to think coaching was just telling the players what to do and not getting involved or anything, but because of what Jose's done, now I understand that it's a lot more than just telling them what to do. You learn, the coach learns from the players and the players learn from the coach.' NOVA Training 'Go Lead' participant.'

And I like that although Football maybe has nothing to do with an office job, in a way it does, as it's still about respecting each other and about teamwork and helping each other through stuff.

If you would be interesting in volunteering for Black Country in Motion, gaining new skills and qualifications and making a difference in your local community, you can contact our Activator, Rachel Smith at, or by phone on 07532 411166.

For more details on volunteering or on the community physical activities sessions we offer, you can visit our website at

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