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NICK BLACKLEDGE: "EVERY CHILD HAS A RIGHT TO ENJOY SPORT AND A GOOD COACH PROVIDES THAT RIGHT NO MATTER WHAT."

8 June 2018

Nick has progressed through Wigan Athletic Community Trust's education programmes to become a part-time coach.

  • Coaching Week 2018 is a celebration of #GreatCoaching in the UK.
  • Nick, 22, first got involved with the club’s official charity in 2012.
  • He leads the provision of PE in three Wigan primary schools.

“I’m indebted to the Community Trust for developing my coaching skills and giving me the confidence to do the job I’m so passionate about.”

Nick’s association with the Trust stems back to 2012 when he first took part in the Train with Latics education course before completing his apprenticeship and studying a degree in football coaching with the University of South Wales.

Having gained experience working on a variety of different programmes over the past six years, the 22-year-old now heads up the delivery of PE at three primary schools in Wigan.

And as part of UK Coaching Week 2018, Nick opens up about his journey with Latics and how coaches from the Trust have helped him to realise his potential.

He said: “Train with Latics was a fantastic start for me but it was the apprenticeship course that really developed my coaching skills because it allowed me to help deliver sessions in schools while also working on the Premier League Kicks project, which aims to enhance life chances for young people in some of the most deprived areas of the borough.

“After the apprenticeship I enrolled onto the USW degree while continuing to work for the Trust as a casual coach. I’m now part-time and work 25 hours a week looking after the PE provision in three schools in Wigan, something I’m immensely proud of.”

The Premier League Primary Stars programme, a scheme that uses the appeal of Latics to inspire youngsters across the borough, sees coaches from the Trust such as Nick deliver PE lessons to over 4,000 children.

“The thing I enjoy most about coaching is giving people a new concept of sport and that the subject can be enjoyed by everyone.

“I love engaging with children in schools but what’s great for me is knowing I’m having an impact on them outside of school as well, be that they join a local football club, gymnastics club or a dance group because that comes from the fundamental skills I’ve taught them in their PE lessons.”

And asked what makes a good coach, he replied, “It’s important I’m knowledgeable about the topic I’m teaching but the biggest one for me is having differentiation in lessons, which means including every single person because we all have a right to enjoy sport. A good coach provides that right to the children no matter what so they can enjoy good quality PE provision.”

For more information about UK coaching week, please click here.

Please email Gareth Nolan on g.nolan@wiganathletic.com or call 01942 318090 for more information about the Schools Sports programme.


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