A group of young people are working out in a boxing gym

Developing self-confidence through youth coaching in the Forest of Dean

Forest Fighting Fit were awarded £1,950 through the High Sheriff Fund towards an informal youth coaching programme in 2023.

They engaged 23 young people in developing coaching skills, learning first aid, travelling to tournaments and gaining coaching qualifications. The programme, initially designed for 10 young people, included learning about advertising, communication and administration.

Forest Fighting Fit were keen to engage young people using their gym who had little motivation for developing skills for the future. They had noticed that these young people were keen to develop coaching skills, and hoped that the programme would give them confidence and self-respect that would flow over into other areas of their lives.

Forest Fighting Fit were delighted with the results of the programme:

“We have found the coaching practice really popular with our young people aged 14-19. They have struggled with written aspects (so were given more support) but thrived in the practical aspects. We have made this a more formal programme and have now joined up with a school and are able to offer AQA recognised coaching/ teaching qualifications for the age group. We also had a first aid trainer and the young people now have a certificate to add to their CV.” 

The programme had wider benefits for the young people, beyond the qualifications and learning – increasing their confidence and social skills.

“I think I was surprised by the sense of ‘team’ that came out of it – the support network they developed for each other – not just on the programme. For example one lad was struggling to maintain attendance at college and other members of the group were ‘on his case about it’ – in a fun way – it worked! We can’t change everyone’s lives but we can help some.”

Forest Fighting Fit have continued this programme, and are working to gain future funding.

May 2024

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