Sports Leadership Changes Lives

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Sports Leaders UK changes lives by ‘inspiring people and communities through leadership qualifications in sport’. It provides nationally recognised qualifications that equip people with the skills and motivation to create and run sporting activities in the community.

Sports Leaders UK is a Charity delivering sports leadership awards and qualifications to more than 200,000 people a year, through 4,000 schools, colleges, local authorities, prisons and young offender units. It acts as an Awarding Body providing nationally recognised qualifications, and has a Foundation to deliver free or subsidised courses in areas of greatest need.

For some candidates, the best method of learning is away form the educational environment of their school, and the practical nature of Sports Leaders UK’s awards and qualifications mean that candidates are often learning valuable lessons without even realising it.

Sports Leaders UK courses help develop essential life skills such as organisation, motivation, communication and working with others – all of which enable Sports Leaders to inspire their community to live more active and healthy lifestyles.

Awards and Qualifications

All of the awards and qualifications are practical - candidates learn by doing rather than through written work. And, there are no exams - assessment is made upon a candidate's ability to lead and demonstrate their leadership skills for a certain period of time, within a specific setting. 

Since the Level 2 Award in Community Sports Leadership was launched in 1982 Sports Leaders UK’s portfolio of courses has continued to expand to meet the needs of the growing number of people taking its awards and qualifications. It now runs a total of 13 courses through a variety of sport and academic mediums.

Sports Leaders UK’s qualifications offer progression that runs alongside mainstream education. Therefore, candidates are able to develop their sports leadership qualifications from the Level 1 Award in Sports Leadership in Year 9 to the Level 3 Certificate in Higher Sports Leadership in Sixth Form.


·       The Level 1 Award in Sports Leadership provides the ideal starting point for candidates aged 13 years and over who wish to develop their leadership skills.

·       The Level 1 Award in Dance Leadership is a nationally recognised qualification that enables successful candidates to lead small groups in simple dance activities.

·       The Level 2 Award in Sports Leadership gives candidates the chance to develop their organisation, motivation and communication skills, whilst focusing on positive role models in sport, how to mentor others, and how to use leadership skills in a variety of settings.

·       The Level 2 Award in Community Sports Leadership enables successful candidates to lead groups of people in sport/activity within the community.

·       The Level 3 Award in Day Walk Leadership trains and qualifies teachers, youth workers and other members of the community to lead walking groups in lowland countryside, impart the knowledge and skills needed to undertake a day walk and have responsibility for the care of others while leading a day walk in lowland countryside.

·       The Level 3 Certificate in Basic Expedition Leadership trains and qualifies teachers, youth workers and other members of the community to lead walking groups in lowland countryside and plan and lead overnight base and mobile camps.

·       The Level 3 Certificate in Higher Sports Leadership enables successful candidates to lead un-supervised groups of people in sport and recreational activities. It builds upon the skills and experience gained through the Level 2 Award in Community Sports Leadership and the Level 2 Award in Sports Leadership.


·       The Young Leader Award is a programme of leadership training for young people aged nine to13 that promotes them working with younger children, teaching leadership skills through a range of games and activities.

·       Women, Get Set, Go! is a personal development programme that has been specifically designed for women. It encourages women to enter into community leisure leadership positions, and to develop their involvement for their own benefit and for the benefit of the community.

·       The Day Certificate in Sports Leadership has been designed to support adults in a variety of settings including community groups, primary and secondary schools, uniformed organisations and sports clubs that are affiliated to the local authority.

·       The Foreign Language Leader Award, Maths Leaders Award and Literacy Leader Award aim to teach young people how to lead others through basic activities by working to develop their communication, organisation and motivational skills.

Engaging NEET candidates

For young people not in education, employment or training (NEET) it can be an uphill struggle to realise their full potential. Thanks to Sports Leaders UK, 16-18 year olds in Aylesbury now have the opportunity to improve their prospects and change their future.

When Haydon Training and Business College was established in 1992 its aim was clear: 'to equip young people with the skills and experience needed to enable them to enter employment or further training'. An ethos that is shared by Sports Leaders UK.

The college works primarily with NEET groups, although it also runs Apprenticeships and Train to Gain programmes. Students of compulsory school age are referred to the college through Pupil Referral Units, local schools and the youth offending service, while college students are referred from Connexions.

Candidates aged 14 - 16 recently completed the Sports Leaders UK Level 1 Award in Sports Leadership as part of the college's first academic year running the qualification. School Manager, Tracey McNicholas explains the importance of engaging these students and the positive effects that this qualification has had.

Tracey said: "There are a number of reasons why some young people end up out of education, employment or training, and it is often the route to further deprivation. The college aims to address this by providing students with the help and support they need to grow in confidence and overcome barriers that may be preventing them from progressing.

"The Sports Leaders UK course has enabled the college to help candidates gain a nationally recognised qualification through flexible and practical learning. These young people need to feel enthusiastic and excited about learning if they are to continue to succeed and develop."

"Course tutor, Marl Milsome did a superb job in helping to support candidates to achieve their best, and I have high expectations for next year, particularly as we expand our range of Sports Leaders UK qualifications to add the Level 2 Award in Sports Leadership."

August 2010

School Leadership Today