Leeds West SILC link up with Foundation

Coaching initiative for pupils at specialist school.

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The Leeds United Foundation have been working closely with Leeds West SILC on a coach education and mentoring programme to support young students.

The pupils taking part in the initiative, that all attend the specialist inclusive learning centre, were able to learn new things such as how to conduct a coaching session, including risk assessments, leading warm-ups and cool-downs and planning a session from start to finish, along with developing life skills such as resilience, self-esteem and confidence.

The ongoing project has enabled the students to step out of their comfort zone, delivering safe sessions to fellow students, enabling them to create experiences that will help them to become community coaches in the future.

Nigel Thewlis, Head of Secondary Education at the Leeds United Foundation, said: “We’ve been working with Leeds West SILC for about two to three months, and we were brought in to coach educate some of their young people. It’s really been about inspiring them and giving them aspirations to be better coaches within their community and to give them the opportunity to do some hands-on coaching.

“We’ve really been teaching them things like warm-ups, what the main session might look like and then the cool downs, and it’s now about them going back to their environment and beginning to coach young people with their new-found skills. The young people have done amazing things over the last few months, and I think it’s something we should be shouting about.”

One of the young students at Leeds West SILC, Charlotte, said: “We’ve been trying to practice our sports leadership skills and I’ve ran a session with pupils in my year and with little pupils as well, it’s been really great.”

Rob Lakewood, the Head of Post 16 education at Leeds West SILC, added: “We wanted to develop a programme for our students to really highlight the employability and communication skills they already have and give them the opportunity to be working with people from the community, something that would be a challenging situation for some of them.

“There was no better scenario for our students than being able to work with Leeds United, they all support and love Leeds United, so it really gave it that important platform. With our post-16 students delivering sessions to the younger sessions it really helps to raise the aspirations across the entire school, which is fantastic.”

For more information on the work being done with secondary schools throughout Leeds via the club’s official charity, please contact [email protected].

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