Working in Partnership with Link4Life
'How to Coach Disabled People in Sport'
Based in Rochdale, Link4Life plans and manages the delivery of accessible cultural provision, giving residents and visitors the opportunity to lead healthy, creative, and active lifestyles. The sports development service helps to support and develop community-based voluntary sports clubs.
As a Sports Development Officer, Farah Rehman supports and develops volunteers, including those wanting to train as leisure officers, coaches or gym instructors.
As part of their development, Farah organises workshops for the volunteers. She has found it useful to attend some of the workshops herself, not only to have the opportunity to interact and catch up with the volunteers she supports, but also to gain experience to use in her role. ‘How to Coach Disabled People in Sport’ is one workshop that Farah attended as she felt it was an area in which she didn’t have much experience.
As a result of attending the workshop, Farah feels she has learnt how to speak to people, how to not be afraid to ask questions and how to be open without the fear of causing offence. The practical element of the workshop was also beneficial as she learnt how to adapt games and sessions to make them suitable for disabled people.
The experience Farah gained at the workshop was significant as it meant that she could apply what she learnt to the rest of her role, for example as part of a programme she was involved in called ‘Coaching, Working and Facilitating Young People with Disabilities’ and also when she herself meets people with disabilities.
Feedback from the volunteers who attended the workshop was very positive. They spoke of feeling much more comfortable and at ease when approaching disability and working with disabled people; some were even encouraged to volunteer for sessions when they hadn’t previously worked with disabled people. Those with any reservations were put at ease, and the workshop helped remove the fear of offending by looking at appropriate language and what might be construed as offensive.
‘I’m really pleased I attended the “How to Coach Disabled People in Sport” workshop. I feel much more confident, I am able to pass on tips and pointers to volunteers and discuss ideas and options with those volunteers who attended the workshop and are preparing coaching sessions.
I would recommend other organisers run this workshop, as it was great at helping you to think on your feet and be comfortable approaching disability. The tutor was brilliant, very experienced and enthusiastic and did a great job of dispelling the taboo around disabilities’.
Farah Rehman, Sports Development Officer, Link4Life