There is always a need for more qualified coaches in Para sport, at all levels.
To fill this need and to encourage more emphasis on Para sport coaching, the Canadian Paralympic Committee (CPC) and Coaching Association of Canada (CAC) have collaborated on new resources targeting the development of Para sport coaches. The goals are to ensure Para sport is thoughtfully embedded throughout coach pathways as well as to support diversifying the Canadian coach workforce.
Three research insights summaries, developed as snapshots of vast focused Para sport coaching research work over the past few years, provide at-a-glance information about coaching in Para sport, setting a historical basis for the work that needs to be done for greater Para sport and disability inclusion in coaching and the best ways forward. The full reports are also available upon request.
The three Research Insights summaries, available on the CAC website, are:
- Disability Inclusion in Canada’s Coach Education System (2020)
- Developmental Pathways in Disability Sport (2021)
- Re-Examining Coach Education in Disability Sport (2022)
“These investments in research demonstrate our commitment to improving our coach education programming standards and coach development pathways for coaches working with athletes with a disability, as well as supporting the athlete to coach transition,” said Isabelle Cayer, Director of Sport Safety at CAC. “It is our intention to continue to develop increased opportunities for our sport partners to build the best coaching programs and to ensure that coaches and athletes have safe, positive experiences in sport.”
The research has also informed the creation of two new checklists, designed to aid sport organizations providing training to coaches in Para sport to ensure they offer accessible, inclusive support and programming.
“We are thrilled to see this body of research start translating into practical actions that coaches and coach developers can implement in their practice,” said Jenny Davey, Manager, Paralympic Pathways at CPC. “This development of these checklists has been a true team effort between the CAC, CPC, a host of incredible researchers, and the many athletes and coaches who shared their experiences and insights throughout the process. The CPC is so grateful for this collaboration, and we look forward to seeing the continued strengthening of Para sport coaching in Canada.”
Checklist to develop Para sport coach training
This checklist helps support sport leaders developing training for coaches to plan with a Para lens and embed inclusion and accessibility into the program, including for people with a disability who are entering coaching.
Checklist to support Para sport coaches’ development pathway
The goal of this checklist is to help develop more coaches who are better equipped to coach in Para sport, as well as to engage and support more coaches who have lived disability experience. This includes thorough training to build capacity and expertise in Para sport coaching along the entire coach pathway.
In addition to being developed through the research, the checklists were also reviewed by practitioners and coaches with a disability – a critical step highlighted in the checklists themselves to always ensure resources and training are developed by and with the communities they are designed for.
“This collaboration with the CPC and researchers perfectly illustrates the purpose of the CAC Research Strategy to support coaching programs, policies, and practices with enhanced knowledge mobilization,” said Marie-Pier Charest, Ph.D., Coaching Consultant, Research at CAC. “We are committed to continue our efforts, to support the NCCP [National Coaching Certification Program] partners and coaches, in implementing the recommendations emerging from the research findings. We want to enhance the experiences of all athletes and participants in Canada through quality coaching in sport and Para sport.”
To access all of these resources, as well as additional resources on Para sport coaching, please visit Coach.ca/Coaching-athletes-disability.