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4 June 2018

Gareth has been a part of the Community Trust for 12 years and coaches children in schools across Wigan Borough.

  • Coaching Week 2018 is a celebration of #GreatCoaching in the UK.
  • Gareth has been involved with Wigan Athletic for over a decade.
  • He plays a vital role in the delivery of Premier League Primary Stars. 

Wigan Athletic Community Trust engage with over 4,000 primary school children and 120 teachers as part of the Premier League Primary Stars programme, and central to that scheme is Schools Sports Coordinator Gareth Shaw, who has worked for Latics’ official charity for the past decade.

Now 28, he first started out as a Kicks participant at Shakerley when he was 16 before taking up a volunteering role with the Community Trust. From there he completed his two-year apprenticeship before becoming a sports coach and progressing to his current role, while also studying a Degree in Football Coaching and Development at the University of South Wales.

Alongside his coaching duties, Gareth has been instrumental in the delivery of the Latics Literacy project, a course that uses football and sport to encourage pupils to read, write and learn in a fun and interactive lesson structure, which includes a combination of classroom work and PE lessons.

As part of UK Coaching Week 2018, which takes place from Monday 4th June to Sunday 10th June, we spoke to Gareth to learn more about his time with the Trust and his long-term ambitions. 

He said: “My journey with the Community Trust has been a whirlwind really and it’s just flown by. I’ve loved every minute of it and I’m grateful for all the opportunities I’ve had to develop myself both as a person and as a coach because I’ve achieved numerous qualifications.

“The work has made me realise that my ambition is to teach all areas of the curriculum, so the experience and skills I’ve gained as a coach should benefit me massively.”

The Premier League Primary Stars programme is a scheme that uses the appeal of Wigan Athletic to inspire children across the borough to learn, be active and develop important life skills.

“The best thing about coaching for me is seeing the enjoyment and the satisfaction children get from the lessons that you’ve planned and put together.

“One of the great things about Primary Stars is that you can pick up so many different ideas from the children as well and apply them to your lessons.

“My involvement on the programme has also seen me work closely with a number of classroom teachers to upskill them to deliver PE to a high standard.”

Discussing the impact the Latics badge has on children across Wigan, Gareth says working with their local football club proves to be inspiring for hundreds of pupils.

“It makes the job a lot easier when children and teachers know that coaches from a professional football club are coming into their school to deliver lessons.

“Latics are a well-loved club and everyone can see the success they’ve had over the years be that in the league or the cup, so the kids relate to that straight away because they always strike up a conversation about the club or the players and that helps to build up a rapport.”

For more information about UK coaching week, please click here

Please email Gareth Nolan on or call 01942 318090 for more information about the Schools Sports programme.

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