Becoming an Athletics Coach

Coaches are the foundation of Serpentine's training sessions, they all volunteer their services and financial support is available to coaches of all standards to help them progress through the UK Athletics 'Coaching Pathway'.

If you are interested please contact our Athletics Coordinator to talk about how you can help out the club through coaching. Alternatively you can speak to any of the club's regular coaches about their experiences and see if you can help out in their sessions before you go on the relevant coaching course.

To book a course and to find out about the dates/locations of coach training courses across England, please visit the courses and bookings section of the England Athletics (EA) website. EA is responsible for implementing the UKA coaching strategy and the Coaching Development Programme including Coaching Education.

The Coaching Pathway

The information below is taken from the UK Athletics uCoach website where you can find out more about the coaching pathway and the individual coaching awards, and is correct as of autumn 2016. There are a number of options available for those wishing to become a coach, depending on whether the candidate wants to coach on- or off-track and how far they want to progress though the levels. Serpentine recommend that those starting on the pathway begin with the 'Coaching Assistant' award as this provides the greatest flexibility for future progression.

UKA Coaching Pathways

1. Coaching Assistant

This is the recommended starting point for Serpentine members wishing to become a coach. A Coaching Assistant will be insured to take a coaching role working under the supervision of a coach (Athletics Coach, CiRF or an other UKA Level 2 Coach or higher), working from a UKA task card or organising a session based on a plan written by the supervising Coach.

  • Duration: 2 days, no formal assessment
  • DBS/Disclosure check, free for club volunteers
  • See UK Athletics website, uCoach for more information

2a. Athletics Coach 

This qualification is the next step for those wishing to coach athletics (all track distances and disciplines plus field events) and is the cornerstone of the coach education programme. The course plus assessment period is a total of four days including the formal assessment. Candidates will be able to plan a progressive training programme for athletes coaching a range of activities to prepare the developing athlete to run, jump and throw.

When qualified you will be insured to coach without supervision, working with Coaching Assistants to support you in delivering the sessions.

  • Duration: The course and assessment period is four days in total. Two days delivered as a weekend, a third day several weeks later and then a formal assessment on a final day.

2b. Coach in Running Fitness

The qualification is the next step for those who only wish to coach for off-track endurance running. The qualification will take three days to complete plus one day of formal assessment. Coaches who want to work with runners taking part in track based endurance events such as 800m – 10,0000m or steeplechase should take the Athletics Coach award rather than CiRF. The CiRF course is designed for the participation running community as opposed to the performance pathway.

  • Duration: The course and assessment period is four days in total. Two days delivered as a weekend, a third day several weeks later and then a formal assessment on a final day.

3. Event Group Coach

Once qualified as an Athletics Coach coaches can focus on one or more event groups: jumps, throws, speed or endurance after completing the relevent additional modules.