Sport is kind of obsessed with finding the next generation of stars – playing stars – and rightly so. What is sometimes ignored, however, is the next generation of coaches – there’s an assumption that there should be a linear progression; you play sport, you retire from playing and then you become a coach. The Coach Core apprenticeship scheme bucks that trend by giving young people aged 16-24 the chance to become the next generation of inspirational coaches.

Coach Core

Coach Core is a programme run by the Royal Foundation of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry. Coach Core aims to inspire young people through sport, and to support their development in coaching. It seeks to change the way in which coaching is learned, to ensure that its graduates are as as proficient in sports psychology and mentoring as they are in the technical aspects of their particular sport. In an era when an England football coach can be sacked for inappropriate behaviour, and hierarchies in other sports are beset by systematic bullying, it is clear there is still much to learn.

Learning from the Best

With that in mind, Coach Core uses elite coaches to mentor those on the programme. Graduation ceremonies , have been led by the likes of Will Greenwood, Judy Murray, Mark Hunter and Max Whitlock. Greenwood insisted that no-one ever improves as a sports person by being shouted at.

I played under a coach who was literally purple with rage every time we went into the dressing room at half time. He’d spray the walls with rage. Did it make me a better player? No. Did it makes us a better team? Of course not. Will Greenwood

Young people on the programme train as an apprentice with an exciting employer and obtain unparalleled qualifications, experiences and opportunities across an intensive 12 month period. They work for 30 hours a week, for at least one full year – during which time the employment will be paid – and graduate to become a coach and role model in their community for the next generation.

The numbers for Coach Core prove hugely encouraging reading. 92% of Coach Core graduates are now in employment or further education, while 80% are still engaged in coaching six months after graduating.

At a 2017 graduation ceremony in London, some of the 500+ young people who have gone through the intensive apprenticeship watched on as Prince Harry spoke. People like 18-year-old Alisha Wilson, now working as a full-time swimming coach in Glasgow after graduating. Or 19-year-old Muhammed Mumin, who spent a year with Coach Core before going to college to study business. Or Andre Nathaniel-George, an 18-year-old from Harrow, now working as a tennis coach for the sports charity Greenhouse.

It’s been amazing. It’s not just the people who you coach who benefit from this. I’ve learned so much about myself. I’ve become so much more confident, more outgoing. Coach Core graduate Andre Nathaniel-George

Register for Coach Core Now!

Having started as a single apprentice scheme, Coach Core continues to grow city by city and county by county. The 7 cities that were launched in the first phase of the project – London, Manchester, Birmingham, Nottingham, Essex, South Wales and Glasgow – have now been joined by a raft of new locations including Bristol, Devon, Derbyshire, Middlesbrough and Leeds.

If you would like more information, or to register your interest for any locations that will be launching a new 12-month programme soon, please contact Coach Core at: 

Find out if you are eligible, or simply check out their website.


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