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Two counties search for more coaches with disabilities

Posted: Fri, 03 Nov 2017 10:07

Two counties search for more coaches with disabilities

The Sports Partnership Herefordshire & Worcestershire are looking to inspire more disabled people to get into coaching.

The latest UK Coaching research suggests that only 26% of active coaches are disabled. In response to this, The Sports Partnership Herefordshire & Worcestershire are looking to inspire more local disabled people into coaching, like Traditional Aikido coach Fiona Mac.

Fiona has progressive physical and sensory disabilities, caused by a severe, life-limiting heart condition.

Fiona obtained her First Dan in 2015 and following encouragement from others at Hereford Aikido Group, felt she was ready to study and practice coaching Aikido this year.

As a result of sponsoring her training, Hereford Aikido Group is now welcoming absolute beginners as well as experienced improvers, plus attracting young people to their regular practice sessions on Mondays and Fridays at Hereford Leisure Centre.

Fiona says, 'I refuse to let my physical impairments limit me. I have recently had to adjust my coaching and practice to take account of moderate hearing loss due to chronic sinus infections. This has given me first-hand knowledge of how to cope and coach those people with multiple sensory disabilities, as I am also visually impaired in my left eye.'

'You do not need to be a top athlete or expert to begin coaching. As long as you have a good understanding of the basics and a reasonable level of fitness you will find you can coach others successfully.'

Chris Corke at the Sports Partnership Herefordshire and Worcestershire said, 'Disabled people have different life experiences and skills that are easily transferable into coaching. Disabled coaches can act as role models and help others to become more active and get into coaching themselves.'

If you're a disabled coach, leader, activator or teacher and would like to share your story, please contact Chris on c.corke@worc.ac.uk.

To experience Traditional Aikido, contact Hereford Aikido Group. Your first session is free, no special kit needed.

Photograph by Natalie Jolley Photography.

Tags: Herefordshire, Worcestershire, clubs, coaching, female