by Craig Wright
The first coaches to qualify as part of Stirling University’s prestigious UK Coaching Certificate Level 4 diploma course have graduated from the university.
The award, combined with a part-time postgraduate diploma and developed in partnership with British Canoeing, was first introduced two years ago. At that time, Stirling was the first university in Scotland to offer such a course, which allowed experienced coaches the chance to develop their skills as trainers within their chosen sport.
Stephen MacDonald (below) is one such coach. A paddle sports coach with over 25 years of experience, he graduated with a Masters in Performance Coaching with the help of sportScotland funding. He said:
“The Level 4 was a wonderful opportunity to engage with academic research and bring it into the practical context of day to day coaching. Completing the Masters provided the chance to take a critical look at coaching practice and how one’s philosophy of learning, impacts on coaching behaviour. This study has had a real impact on how I think about my coaching practice.”
Justine Allen, the university’s programme director for postgraduate coaching programmes, had this to say:
“It is fantastic to see the diploma support and challenge a number of experienced, professional coaches in their work with sports persons and coaches of all levels. As Scotland’s University for Sporting Excellence, innovative courses like these help us lead the way in delivering the best for Scottish sport.”