Case Study: Coach Core Trainees Declan and Gillian

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Case Study: Coach Core Trainees Declan and Gillian



Declan dropped out of school at 15 years old with no formal qualifications, having left school before he could sit his exams. Declan was destined for a last resort career in the army until his boxing coach, Peter Harrison, advised him to apply for the Coach Core programme.

Declan’s coach had heard about Coach Core via the Sports Development section at Glasgow Sport who are currently delivering a pilot of the Coach Core programme in partnership with The Royal Foundation of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry.



Gillian has been involved in football since the age of 6, initially                           starting out plGillian.pngaying in her local community club and has since progressed on to represent Scotland at U19 level. Gillian applied to the Coach Core programme having struggled through and failing her first year in college. Branding herself non-academic Gillian was determined to gain more practical coaching experience in a wide array of sports.

Both Declan and Gillian were successful in the 6 week application process for Coach Core achieving 2 of the 20 apprenticeship places available on the programme. Since then, having proved their dedication to developing themselves towards becoming the ‘future sports coach’ Gillian and Declan were selected to represent the Glasgow Coach Core programme at an event in London in December 2013. The pinnacle of the event was the opportunity of meeting the Duke of Cambridge as well as trainees from the two other pilot Coach Core programmes in London and New York.


What attracted to you to want to apply for Coach Core?

Gillian: I applied for Coach Core as it’s unique to any other programme in the country. I get paid to coach, which is something I love to do.  Coach Core has helped me develop as a person and as a coach as it’s different to any other coaching job in that you learn along the way and gain all the necessary qualifications and experience throughout the year whilst getting paid! It’s given me an amazing opportunity to coach different age ranges, co-ordinate and coach at events, learn from others and gain a recognised qualification; basically there is nothing else like it.

Declan: I chose to apply for Coach Core as I am very passionate about sport, particularly boxing. The Coach Core programme provided me with a unique opportunity which suited me as there were no requirements to have any formal qualifications. The Coach Core programme provides me with an experience in coaching a wide variety of sports, as well as theory in how to become ‘the future coach’.

How will Coach Core benefit you towards your aspirations for a career in sport?

Gillian: Coach Core will benefit me as I will gain experience working within different sporting environments and with different age groups and ability levels in addition to gaining knowledge and experience from from my Coach Core peers, coaches and Glasgow Sport staff.

Declan: Coach Core has benefited me in many ways. Before Coach Core I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do but since I’ve been on the programme I’ve learned so much about life and what employment is all about and how much you can influence someone’s life by just coaching them and showing them that you are willing to take the time and effort to help them and be a good role model.

What plans do you have for the future beyond Coach Core?

Gillian: In the future I want to further my football playing career but I also want to work my way up from a football coach to an assistant Development Officer then eventually receive my goal which is to become a Sports Development Officer.

Declan: I would like to progress my career in coaching and gain full time employment with Glasgow Life as a Sports Coach.

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