NEWS: New coaching guidelines brought in through CS Coaching Workgroup

Questions have been asked in the past few months about whether or not non-specific level 2 coaches are actually insured through British Cycling to coach Cycle Speedway on bikes with no brakes. British Cycling have worked together with CS commissioner Bob Prince and other key Cycle Speedway personnel to offer level two coaches a grace period, with a view to obtaining their Cycle Speedway specific level two qualification.

Here are the details:

The British Cycling Health and Safety Guidelines for Coaching Cycling (HSGCC) have been developed to promote good practice and ensure all riders receive coaching that is safe, effective, enjoyable and challenging. The aims of these guidelines are to provide guidance to coaches regarding health and safety issues that should be considered when conducting coaching sessions or prescribing training for individual riders.

These guidelines have been in place for over a decade. British Cycling sent out a directive in 2011 to all coaches reinforcing the need to adhere to these guidelines.

Guidelines 7.5 and 8.5 are relevant to Cycle Speedway and in a nutshell state that only level 2 discipline specific coaches can coach riders with no brakes on their bikes. These coaches are covered by BC insurance; all other coaches within the sp­­ort are not.

The implications of this guideline on the sport are quite dramatic.  At the moment there are only nine level 2 discipline specific coaches in Cycle Speedway. Of these nine, only seven have up to date first aid, DBS clearance and a safeguarding qualification which are all basic requirements to keep the coaching award valid.

There are around sixty other “coaches” who are level 1, club, activity, or who have not completed their level 2 course.

The British Cycling Cycle Speedway Commission have recognised the need to drive the sport forwards through excellence and have placed, as a priority, the need to encourage more “coaches” to bring their First Aid, DBS and Safeguarding up to date and to assist and encourage level 2 coaches to re-enlist onto a level 2 course and complete their outstanding course work.

The next objective will be to encourage qualified level 2 coaches to gain discipline specific qualification.

In order to achieve this BC and the CS commission have set up a work group comprising of BC Coach and Education officers and Cycle Speedway personnel.  Each cycle speedway region will have a representative on this work group, which is being lead by Bob Prince, with the remit to encourage coaches within their region to reach the outcomes required to acquire level 2 discipline specific status within the next twelve months. The regional officers on the work group are as follows: John Burston (North), Stuart Raven (South West and Wales), Phil Clarke (Eastern) and Jack Hibberd (Midlands).

In the meantime the Cycle Speedway commission have negotiated a concession from BC which will allow level 2 coaches to coach in the Cycle Speedway environment and remain insured to do so.  This concession is for a period of one year which will allow the sport time to address the coaching issue.

In order to achieve this aim the Cycle Speedway fraternity needs to be enthusiastic about this and recognise that the sport can only prosper through excellence, and do their upmost to help provide a safe and structured environment for their riders.

Over the coming months those named on the “coaches” list will be contacted and will be given every opportunity to develop their coaching skills and qualify as a cycle speedway discipline specific coach.  New coaches will also be given the same opportunities.

Here is the British Cycling statement in full:

Coaching in Cycle Speedway

The following is in response to an issue raised by the Cycle Speedway Commission, concerning coaching in cycle speedway clubs and the lack of a sufficient number of appropriately qualified coaches to support rider development. In consultation with relevant experts from the discipline, British Cycling Coaching and Education have reviewed the Guidelines for Coaching Cycling, considering the coaching area, activities, equipment and the risk associated with coaching cycle speedway. Following this review, British Cycling are pleased to grant a provisional Level 2 Cycle Speedway coaching license to coaches who meet the following criteria:

  • Member of British Cycling (Ride, Race Silver or Gold)
  • Current First Aid certificate (from a minimum of six hours’ training)
  • Current Safeguarding certificate
  • Current DBS check (where necessary)
  • Qualified Level 2 Coach
  • Hold the role, on the British Cycling database, of “coach” at a club linked to a cycle speedway facility

This license will last for one year, from 5th February 2016 for current qualified Level 2 Coaches, and for prospective coaches a year commencing the date they qualify as a Level 2 Coach. The license will allow the delivery of coaching sessions based on the Level 2 technical remit to riders using cycle speedway bikes(with no brakes) in a speedway facility.

During this time the coach will be able to attend the Cycle Speedway Coaching Event. This training is being reviewed by the Cycle Speedway Coaching Workgroup to ensure it meets the needs of the sport.  Completion of this training will qualify the coach as a full Level 2 Cycle Speedway Coach.

In meeting the criteria, the club and coach will confirm that they have the sufficient level of experience and competence to manage the risk and to operate in this environment.

Trainee Level 2 coaches (those not yet qualified, who have not completed all assessment tasks or who may have outstanding pre-requisites such as a valid First Aid certificate) must continue to operate within the remit of a Trainee Level 2 Coach as defined by the Guidelines.

Qualified Level 1 coaches must continue to operate within the remit defined by the Guidelines. They may independently deliver coaching sessions, based on the Level 1 technical remit, to riders using bikes with two brakes. They may also support an appropriately qualified Level 2 Cycle Speedway Coach in the delivery of cycle speedway coaching sessions but may not be in sole charge of this session.

Coaching is an expensive game, but grants through Sport England are available, as demonstrated recently by Wednesfield Aces. As a sport it is certainly time to start doing things properly and have fully qualified coaches taking sessions at all clubs.

33/18 News would like to thank, on behalf of the sport, Bob Prince and John Burston especially, for their proactive work on bringing the issue to the fore and seeking a successful, temporary resolution for the coaches across the UK, as well as all other parties involved.