ECB forges university coaching link
The University of Gloucestershire has joined forces with the England and Wales Cricket Board to deliver courses for coaches at the top of their game.
Working in partnership with the Gloucestershire higher education development unit, Nexus, the two bodies have created a new, validated programme of study at postgraduate level for cricket coaches working in performance and elite environments.
The partnership will be formally ratified by Hugh Morris, ECB managing director of England Cricket, and Stephen Marston, vice-chancellor of University of Gloucestershire, at a signing event at the university’s Park campus today.
The ECB’s Elite Coach Development programme – known as Level Four – is recognised as a world leader in its field and numbers current England team director Andy Flower amongst its graduates.
Launched in 1999, last year it became the first programme of its kind to achieve United Kingdom Coaching Certificate endorsement.
Gordon Lord, head of elite coach development with ECB, said: “This represents a major step forward in the development of coaching as a profession and we are delighted that the University of Gloucestershire and Nexus will support us in the further development, alignment and validation of the Level Four programme at the postgraduate level.
Coaches who successfully complete the programme will achieve both a postgraduate diploma in personal and professional development and the UKCC Level 4 award in coaching cricket.
The focus is a blend of work-based learning and academic studies and provides a progression route into the final year of a Masters degree completed through a dissertation.
The development is one of the first to be brokered for the university by staff from Nexus, a partnership organization between the University of Gloucestershire and Gloucestershire College, which focuses on providing accreditation for organisational training programmes and the development of bespoke higher education for employers.
Dr Mary Mahoney, Nexus director, said: “This innovative new development epitomises the Nexus ethos, acting as the interface between academics and businesses to increase opportunities for the development of a highly skilled workforce.
“We broker developments such as this one and, where appropriate, gain accreditation for the learning from the University as testimony of the individual’s personal and professional achievements.
“We are currently in talks with other national sporting bodies about developing similar programmes for their top coaches and officials.”
The programme is delivered by the ECB’s team of highly experienced tutors and is supported by Dr Stewart Cotterill, senior lecturer in sport and exercise psychology at the university, who is experienced in working in cricket and specifically with the ECB and county squads.
Dr Cotterill is based in the university’s faculty of applied sciences in Gloucester which has expertise in coaching and science, and the underpinning disciplines of biomechanics, nutrition, physiology and psychology.
The programme is delivered over two years and block sessions are conducted at a range of national locations and training facilities.
These blocks are supplemented by ongoing work-based learning and the emphasis is on the development of technical expertise as well as enhancing the learners’ capacity for self-development, critical reflection and experiential learning whilst they work as an elite coach.
The process of validating the ECB Level Four programme through the university’s academic framework took approximately eight months and involved Professor David James (University of Gloucestershire), Dr Joce Brooks, Heather Nash and Gordon Lord of ECB and Dr Mary Mahoney and Wendy Monteith (Nexus).