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Quick Facts

  • Course Name: Athletics Leader

  • Environment: On-Track

  • Age Requirement: 18

  • Assessment: No

  • Pre-requisites: No, a great first step for people interested in assisting athletes.

  • Once qualified will I require supervision: Yes

  • Looking ahead what’s next: Coaching Assistant

  • Alternatives: Coaching Assistant if you are sure you want to move directly to becoming a qualified on-track Athletics Coach. LiRF- if you wish to coach purely in an off-track environment.

  • Lunch: Not included. (We cannot guarantee that all venues have refreshment facilities so please bring lunch and a drink with you).

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Ready to book now onto your nearest Athletics Leader Course?

Click here to go straight to search for your nearest course!

Where Does Athletics Leader Lie In The UKA Coach Development Pathway?

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The Athletics Leader Award is located on the ‘Leader’ tier of the ‘On-Track’ Coach Development Pathway. This award has been designed as an entry point to coaching and so offers a great starting point for individuals new to Athletics. There are no pre-requisites to attend this award. As a licensed Athletics Leader you will be required to work under the guidance of a supervising coach.

UKA and the Home Country Athletics Associations promote a culture of coaching co-operation and collaboration by providing further opportunities for formal learning and coach development. The Athletics Leader programme is a formal step towards becoming a licensed Coach.


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The Athletics Leader award has been designed to accommodate for the needs of new leaders who are looking to make their first steps into coaching. The award is aimed at those looking to operate in an on-track environment.

Candidates, who opt for this pathway, will develop a basic understanding of running, jumping and throwing skills and will be introduced to a range of activities, which help to develop these skills. The award is aimed at individuals who coach athletes in the FUNdamental stage of athlete development.

On successful completion of the one-day attendance only course, Athletics Leaders are still required to work under the direct supervision of a Coach (visual or audible range). To meet the insurance terms of the leaders license the Leader should not be left on another side of the facility away from the Supervising Coach.

Am I The Right Person For The Course?

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To be eligible for this course you must be 18 years or over. This award is a great entry point for those who may at some point wish to progress along the Coaching Pathway. This award is also great for parents and grandparents who wish to help out at their local track but do not wish to take on the responsibilities that come with a full-blown coaching role.

This award has been designed to accommodate for the needs of individuals working with young athletes, or those in the early stages of athlete development (FUNdamentals). An important point to note is that this course is not about individual athletics events- Leaders will not learn how to throw a javelin but they will be introduced to the underlying principals of throwing. This is an introductory course to supervising and leading athletics based activities and covers many core skills.

For a leadership license to be processed, individuals require a current UKA police record check, DBS. Checks are not transferable between sports and other organisations therefore UKA must have a new check made. The DBS itself is free for club volunteers.

For details on how to arrange a DBS check please click here.

What Is The Role Of The Athletics Leader?

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Some of the main roles of the Athletics Leader are summarized below:

  • Assist a supervising coach in the delivery of athletics sessions. (There may be a number of Athletics Leaders assisting a Supervising Coach at one time).

  • Manage small groups of young athletes and deliver task card activities. (There is an expectation Athletics Leaders familiarize themselves with the task cards).

  • Explain activities and provide demonstrations.

What’s The Structure Of The Course?

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The course structure is summarised below:

• Attend the one day course (9am-5pm)

• Submit DBS form.

• Once all the above elements have been completed you will receive your Leadership License.

The course is run over one full day (9-5pm). The day consists of a mix of classroom and practical sessions. There is an element of physical activity throughout the day so you should come dressed for light exercise. Throughout the day you will be expected to actively participate in sessions for example, leading groups running task card activities and acting as athletes whilst others are leading.

What Topics Are Covered?

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Below is a summary of the topics covered on the Athletics Leader programme.

  • The role and responsibilities of an Athletics Leader.

  • Working relationship with Supervising Coach.

  • Principles of running, jumping and throwing.

  • Run, jump and throw task card activities.

How Should I Prepare For The Course?

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Once candidates have registered for the Athletics Leader programme, they must complete a UKA DBS check. A leaders license cannot be issued without a DBS check. For details on how to arrange this check please click here

Before attending the course it is also important to view a selection of task cards that will be used during the course.

Task cards can be downloaded as a grouped file, or as individual task cards.

UKA Leader Award Task Card Examples 3-6.pdf (PDF File, 2078KB)

3 Follow the Leader.pdf (PDF File, 529KB)

Cat and Mouse.pdf (PDF File, 532KB)

Push Throw Relay.pdf (PDF File, 523KB)

Jump the Rainbow.pdf (PDF File, 543KB)

Are There Any Resources Available?

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All of the excellent resources for the Athletics Leader award can be found on the Athletics Leader Resources Page. On this page you can find resources under the following headers.

  • Pre- Course Resources
  • Post Course Resources

To view the Athletics Leader Resource page please click here.

As A Qualified Athletics Leader- What’s Next?

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There are many ways you can progress your coach development journey. If you wish to continue to work in an on-track environment the next logical step for you would be to take the Coaching Assistant Award. Alternatively, if you wish to work in an off-track environment the Leader in Running Fitness would be a great starting point.

Still undecided? Find out what those who have attended had to say...

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  • "The course was great- really enjoyable and informative."
  • "I wouldn't change anything on this course… it was perfect!"

How do I book?

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Ready to book now onto your nearest Athletics Leader Course?

Click here to go straight to search for your nearest course!