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Our Conference

UK Coaching Conference 2019

04 - 06 July 2019, Loughborough University

Theme – Great Coaching Can

How #GreatCoaching Can support people to change their lives through sport and physical activity. 

Early bird prices end on 31 May. 


Flexible options available including one day tickets and additional social and networking opportunities.

BOOK on TryBooking.com


No matter what sport and physical activity you provide, the UK Coaching Conference will help you deliver it better. Learn from a wide range of coaches and specialists from across the sports and physical activity sector.  

This year's diverse festival-like programme includes activities and unique experiences such as:

  • learning via Virtual Reality (VR)
  • and hearing from coaches who have made huge differences to peoples lives.

You will hear from coaches who have helped people to use exercise as a vehicle for positive change in their community to those who have supported multiple Olympic champions. 

As well as picking up new ideas and best practice across sport, physical activity and beyond, you will have time to reflect, think differently about how coaching can enable your participants to thrive and network to your heart's content.


Frank Dick OBE

An outstanding sports coach and mentor, Frank led the British Athletics team into its 'golden era' with Olympic gold medallists such as Daley Thompson, Steve Ovett and Sebastian Coe. Frank will share his experience of what it takes to be a great coach whatever the motivation of the person in front of you.

Toni Minichiello and Anna Stembridge

Toni famously nurtured Jessica Ennis-Hill through her 18 year career to Olympic and World gold medals.

Anna is the former head coach of the England Netball team and current head coach of Team Bath in the Vitality Super League.

The duo will share their own learning on becoming great coaches and help you to do the same.

Sarah Kelleher

Sarah represented Ireland Hockey at senior level for more than 10 years, winning 126 caps and captaining the side at the 1994 Hockey World Cup. She is currently head coach of England U18 girls and is supporting Kate Richardson-Walsh OBE OLY in her first coaching role at Hampstead and Westminster Hockey Club.

She will be exploring how creating an environment to flourish can lead to ultimate performances as a player and a coach.

Event Timetable

4 July 2019 – Optional evening networking event and a chance to pre-register for the conference so you are all set to go on Friday morning

5 July 2019 – Day 1 UK Coaching Conference and evening social BBQ

6 July 2019 – Day 2 UK Coaching Conference

Why Attend?

The UK Coaching Conference has something for everyone involved in coaching, bringing together coaches, the coaching system, the development workforce and senior decision makers to network, learn, share and develop. No matter your role, whether you're a young leader, community/club coach, high performance coach, tutor or coach developer, you'll have a truly person-centred experience.

We will help you to think about how #GreatCoaching can:

  • help you to provide an experience that gets people coming back for more
  • help you to understand and deliver activities to the hardest to reach people across the UK
  • help you to maximise people’s potential
  • support you to achieve positive outcomes through sport and physical activity.

The conference has been designed so that all delegates can personalise their own learner journey. Meaning, you can make your time at the conference as structured or as flexible as you like. There will also be a team of conference coaches on-hand, whose job it is to help you get the most out of the event.


Ticket prices are discounted for coaches, students and UK Coaching and UKPCA members. Early bird tickets are limited and prices will end on 31 May. Last year's event was a sell out - so act fast to avoid disappointment.


Flexible options available including, one day tickets and additional social and networking opportunities.

BOOK on TryBooking.com

Sessions and Workshops

When is it on? Friday & Saturday 

Coaching is all about people. UK Coaching's newly-launched workshop will give you a deeper awareness of why great people skills are an intrinsic part of being an effective coach. 

Ultimately, the more coaches understand and connect with people they coach – by observing, noticing and communicating – the more they will be able to support them and help them thrive.

You will explore the three core principles – understand, connect and thrive – in greater detail by engaging in and reflecting on a range of interactive activities that demonstrate how a commitment to taking a genuine interest in the person behind the performer is crucial in developing a lifelong love of sport and physical activity in your participants.

Come along to this session and experience a shortened version of the full workshop. 

Find out more about Coaching the Person in Front of You

When is it on? Friday & Saturday 

UK Coaching wants to support coaches to provide great experiences for everyone taking part or wanting to take part in sport and physical activity. We fundamentally believe that the best sport and physical activity experiences happen when the coach can CONNECT with and UNDERSTAND their participants, enabling them to THRIVE.

In turn, we also believe that those who support and develop coaches need to be able to CONNECT with and UNDERSTAND their coaches to enable them to THRIVE in their role and create Great Coaching experiences for the people they coach.

Our newly accredited workshop has been developed to give the coach developer workforce the opportunity to explore and reflect on how they can help coaches to thrive in their role.

Come along and experience some of the workshop content in a session designed for coach developers and people who are responsible for their coach developer workforce. Delegates will explore:

  • Why this workshop was developed
  • The themes of the workshop
  • How this workshop would benefit you and your workforce

When is it on? Saturday 

Come and spend some time with Russell Earnshaw from the Magic Academy as he shows us the methodology and ideas behind CARDS. Russell will be delivering a practical session with coaches showcasing the CARDS model, which he originally co-created for rugby player development.

Russell has consulted with and delivered for Google, The FA, GB Hockey, British Triathlon, the Rugby Football League and British Swimming to name a few.

Check out the Magic Academy on Twitter

When is it on? Friday & Saturday 

Dr Amy Whitehead will deliver The Think Aloud Programme workshop, where she will provide an overview of how it has been used in practice and in research with coaches, mentors and coach developers. Amy will share her latest work on the programme, which involves promoting reflection-in-action and encouraging coaches and practitioners to step outside of their comfort zone and really think about their thinking. 

The workshop will involve practical applications for coaches and coach developers, providing them with the knowledge and expertise to use in their own day-to-day working environments and with their players/coaches. 

Dr Amy Whitehead is the programme manager for the sports coaching programmes at Liverpool John Moores University. Amy specialises in sport and exercise psychology and also works as a consultant for a variety of national organisations and athletes. Amy is currently researching decision making and expert-novice paradigms, using think-aloud protocol analysis, specifically, to look at how both athletes and coaches think; make decisions and cope under pressure. Through her Think Aloud Programme, Amy works with coaches, mentors and athletes to develop their ability to reflect and understand their own cognition. 

When is it on? Friday 

Time to Learn offers a programme of free live webinar sessions to help grow your PEOPLE skills.

Presented by leading experts in the field of coaching, Time2Learn sessions are jam-packed with practical tools, helpful tips, valuable information and inspiration to help improve your coaching – so you and the people you coach thrive!

Take in our July Time2Learn webinar during the conference.

Find out more about Time2Learn.

When is it on? Friday 

Rosie Meek will be discussing findings from ‘A Sporting Chance: An independent review of Sport in Youth-Adult Prisons’ and how to engage harder to reach groups. 

Trust = Understand, Connect and Thrive. 

The report includes a collection of case studies that highlight the positive effects sport-based programmes in custody can have on offenders’ personal development and employability, as well as breaking the damaging cycle of reoffending.

Rosie will discuss the report's recommendations to the Government, including how the positive impact of sport can be strengthened and extended across the secure estate.

Read ‘A Sporting Chance: An independent review of Sport in Youth-Adult Prisons’

When is it on? Friday & Saturday 

This practical workshop, developed by the Activity Alliance, will equip you with the skills to engage disabled people and people with long-term health conditions  in activities more effectively – making you a better coach!

The practical session will enable you to develop your coaching skills and confidence to tailor delivery to a variety of different audiences.

In line with the Coaching Plan for England’s definition of coaching, the Inclusive Activity Programme targets three different audiences:

  • Coaches/traditional physical activity deliverer family
  • Local community activators (working for example in disabled people’s organisations, community interest charities, housing sector and scout/guide groups)
  • Healthcare professionals

When is it on? Friday

An interactive workshop that looks at understanding today's sporting parent, the importance of positive and proactive communication, tips for handling difficult conversations and ideas to creatively engage parents in both a parents meeting and out in the field.

Gordon MacLelland set up ‘Working with Parents in Sport’ after 20 years as a teacher and coach to children and adults.

He has a BA Hons degree in Sports Science from University College Chester and a PGCE from Lancaster University. He is a qualified teacher and has been director of sport at an independent prep school in the UK for the last 10 years and has worked in schools in both the UK and New Zealand for the last 16 years. He is the author of two books, ‘Great Sports Parenting’ – A pocket guide for parents of children in sport and Engage’ – A coaches guide to building positive relationships with parents

When is it on? Saturday 

Come along and watch Born Barikor founder of Our Parks in action delivering a superhero fitness session. The session will look at the creative use of available space, new environments and technology to deliver activities.

Our Parks bring free, group exercise classes to parks across the UK. Their aim is to ensure local communities have easy access to exercise, utilising technology to enable residents to book and register on classes and communicate with other Our Parks users - providing a fitter and more socially active community.

Check out Born’s Instagram.

When is it on? Friday 

Deena Blacking is a cycling coach who volunteers regularly with a diverse range of youth riders in East London, as well as youth riders on the national cycling talent pathway. A former human rights lawyer, Deena is passionate about equality of opportunity on and off the sports field, particularly when it comes to women and girls. 

The session will challenge you to think about your current club/organisation environment and help you to explore how to make it more inclusive.

When is it on? Friday 

Join Jay Roper, UK Sport’s coach development advisor to consider how people learn and discuss commonly misused/misunderstood ideas around how people learn. He will look at the difference between scientific and myths around learning and consider ways we can support the learning and development of others.

Jay holds experience across the breadth of participation and performance environments, specifically relating to coach learning and people development, spanning individual and team, professional and Olympic/Paralympic sport. 

Prior to joining UK Sport in November 2018, Jay played a central role in the review, development and delivery of The FA's coach education pathway, as well as designing targeted learning and development opportunities for female and BAME coaches. Jay now leads the development and delivery of UK Sport’s Coach Leader Programme, supporting podium coaches in their learning and development journey in the lead up to Tokyo 2020 and towards the Beijing and Paris games.

When are they on? Friday & Saturday 

This year we are delivering Learners Lounge Open Sessions to: 

  • change the way you entertain yourself at a conference
  • offer a user experience where you can consume the content you want in the way you want to access it
  • provide an extensive Entertainment Menu to get you hooked
  • allow you to listen to a Lightning talk from a keynote speaker
  • give you the chance to ask a question of international and World Champion athletes and coaches 
  • join informal chats with world-leading experts around topics close to you
  • get involved in trying out the latest VR technology 
  • let you just chill; catch up with people and take some time out in the well-being zone

See some of our Entertainment Menu opportunities below.

UK Coaching’s Workforce Principles are all about PEOPLE. We know we need great people to provide as many great experiences as possible to create an active nation. We recognise that strategies and objectives may shift over time but we believe the principles of an effective workforce remain the same.  

We know that, currently, our partners adopt different approaches to workforce and this can be a challenge – with so much to think about it is difficult to know where to start. We have listened to our partners and used insight to outline six simple workforce principles. 

Come and chat to Nicola White about how you can use the Workforce Principles to step back from day-to-day delivery and reflect, prioritise and take action!

Check out a case study on how one of our partners have been using the Workforce Principles.

Mini Mermaids Running Club UK stands for self-worth, value and movement. They are changing the lives of girls and young women by shifting their internal experience and the way they interact with the world around them through an innovative and character-driven curriculum.

Join them for an intimate session on what they do.

Find out more by visiting their website. 

Gone are the days where coaches are seen as the sole drivers of athletic performance. We now understand the value of a strong coach-athlete bond.

Catch up with Sophia for an informal chat and Q&A around her work on coach-athlete relationship.

Read her article on understanding the coach-athlete releationship.

Join UKAD to explore:

  • how coaches can support clean sport
  • your understanding of anti-doping and what this means for coaches and athletes
  • how to better prepare athletes for testing
  • the wide-reaching consequences of an anti-doping rule violation
  • and how to promote clean sport in your own coaching environment

Marco will showcase Virtual Reality (VR) by providing interactive VR experiences for delegates. If your not brave enough to have a go yourself, then don’t worry the VR experience will be shown on TV for all to see.

A must see at this year's conference!

Hollie Arnold MBE is a Paralympic gold medallist, world record holder and triple World Champion F46 javelin athlete. Come and chat to Hollie and her coach David Turner about their experiences and journey together.

Lightning Talks 

Need a break from some of our longer sessions? Then look for our Lightning Talks.

Our Lightning Talks stage has a series of speakers giving quick fire 10 minute presentations. They are purposefully short to reduce the chance of your mind wandering or daydreaming about what you are doing that night.

Well-being Zone 

Take some time out and look after your well-being. Have a quick relax and refresh by taking a massage; take part in some relaxation activities or just come and see what information we have to share with you.

Activity Zone 

Get physically active in our activity zone. We have a range of things to try from canoeing to table tennis, archery and so much more.

When is it on? Friday 

Over the past three years, British Canoeing has reviewed and transformed its coaching culture, embedding a new award-winning educational philosophy to make coach learning accessible and flexible, meeting the needs of a more diverse audience. This workshop will explore this transformation of coaching over the past three years within British Canoeing, as well as what future projects are on the horizon.

CEO David Joy, Head of Coaching Lee Pooley and Digital Education Solutions Lead Ricky Snodgrass will take you through their journey, exploring the highs and learning along the way and sharing the pivotal points from the consultation stages to the organisational strategy, through to the design and implementation of a truly learner-centred, non-linear coaching pathway.

When is it on? Saturday 

Great coaching can reframe the coach/parent relationship for better athlete outcomes.

Parents are the key to turbocharging what an organisation does with young people but can sometimes be a hindrance. For 20 years, Richard Shorter has supported organisations in their parent engagement, including schools, faith groups and social services to get the best from their relationships with parents for improved outcomes for young people. In recent years, Richard has supported pathway sports teams with their parent engagement, including England Rugby's U16s, U18s and U20s men and women pathways, England Cricket and England Hockey's pathways, as well as several first class country cricket teams, half the Rugby Premiership teams and some of the countries top sports schools such as Millfield, Whitgift and Coopers Coborn. 

Research and Richard's own experience of parents in sporting pathways suggests an uneasy relationship between parents, coaches and organisations. However, the research and experiences of coaches also suggests the powerful impact parents can have on supporting the sporting mindset required for developing (or hindering) their child's progress. This session will explore what the coach and pathway can do to increase positive parent impact for athletes.

Check out Richard on Twitter.

When is it on? Saturday

The Challenge through Sport Initiative (CSI) is an ambitious innovative partnership project to encourage more active and healthier lifestyles for adults in drug and alcohol recovery by getting involved in regular sport and physical activity.

CSI uses sport & physical activity to:

  • increase participation within this high risk group, which draws upon high levels of investment for long term conditions
  • improve the physical, emotional, health and well-being of people and families in recovery. Build confidence and self esteem
  • enable families to socialise, meet new people and have fun
  • use sporting networks to enhance individual skills through training, volunteering, peer mentoring; supporting pathways into employment
  • and develop a sustainable model of delivery in partnership with health services; police, judiciary and welfare services.

Join Project Coordinator Jane Moodie to look at how they find the right workforce and support them to work with the people in recovery. 

Jane is able to draw on her previous experience as a police officer, netball development officer for England Netball, health and wellbeing officer, netball and trampoline coach, teacher and tutor.

When is it on? Saturday 

Richard Cheetham's session will provide coach educators and developers with: 

  • a series of activities to support them in their delivery 
  • recognising the importance of critical themes which underpin coach development
  • recognising the importance of reflection from applied practice which can provide an effective learning environment

The seven key themes Richard will unpick are supported with evidence from applied practice and provide an opportunity for those in attendance to see how they can make coaches more aware of their 'environmental' issues.

Richard is a senior fellow in sports coaching at the University of Winchester. This followed three years spent teaching and coaching in New Zealand. He was awarded an MBE in the New Year Honours list in recognition for his work in community education and sport. In 2018 he won Coach Developer of the Year at the UK Coaching Awards. 

Travel and Accommodation

Getting there

Please see Imago Venue's handy travel information and directions.


There is a variety of hotel and student accommodation options available for delegates to book directly. 

Please see the options and pricing (per night) below. Information on how to book your accomodation will be provided in your conference ticket confirmation email. 

NB Rooms are only guaranteed for delegates to book until the end of May. Booking terms and conditions apply, please speak with Imago when arranging your booking.

£ Student Accommodation

Ensuite rooms located on campus, offering a great value bed and breakfast stay. 

Advance rate (non-refundable) - £59 

££ The Link

Located just a short drive/ride (approx. 30 minute walk) from the campus, The Link has a number of room options on offer.

Room only - £76
Bed and breakfast (single occupancy) - £86
Bed and breakfast (double occupancy) - £96
A small number of group/family rooms are also available, please enquire with the hotel.

£££ Burleigh Court 

Located on campus, Burleigh Court is around a 10-15 minute walk from the main conference. 

Room only - £104
Bed and Breakfast (single occupancy) - £118
Bed and Breakfast (double occupancy) - £132


Buy your tickets for the UK Coaching Conference in Loughborough before they sell out!


Last Year's Coaching Conference

Held in Edinburgh on the 26-27 June 2018 at Scotland’s national sports performance centre – better known as Oriam – the inaugural UK Coaching Conference saw over 300 delegates from across the whole coaching workforce – coaches, the coaching system workforce, the coach development workforce and senior decision makers in sport and physical activity – congregate to network, learn, share and develop. 

The theme for the multi-sport event was ‘The Next Generation’ and focused on helping those in attendance to come together and develop the next generation of coaches, as well as helping current coaches understand how to provide great coaching to children and young people.

What Our Delegates Said

An excellent couple of days at the conference that has filled me with a number of great ideas to take forward in my own coaching practice but also in my teaching practice with beginner coaches.

The content and the way it was delivered was excellent. It really opened my mind to challenge current practices within coaching.

Absolutely brilliant conference - loved it!