New Mountain Training Coaching Award Scheme

by Duncan Campbell - UKC Aug/2013
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Mountain Training UK have developed a new training scheme focusing on coaching rather than instructing. The new scheme, headed up by Martin Chester (Director of Training at Plas y Brenin) is to be called the Coaching Award Scheme.

The scheme will have three award levels; Foundation, Development and Performance coaching. Each level will focus on three important factor's for coaching; what to coach, safe supervision, and how to coach more effectively. Here is what Mountain Training UK have to say about the scheme:

"The Coaching Award Scheme is designed to develop the coaching skills of those working in indoor climbing walls, sport climbing and bouldering, but the scheme should also be of great interest and value for volunteer and professional leaders, instructors and Guides who want to apply their greater coaching knowledge wherever they work."

Steve McClure coaching at the Barn, 172 kb
Steve McClure coaching at the Barn
Ed, Sep 2012© The Barn

Martin Chester, director of training at Plas y Brenin is on a 50-day secondment to get the scheme up and running had this to say about the Coaching Award Scheme:

"These are exciting times for the development of coaching in climbing. In my daily work, and as a member of one of the coaching development groups I have been fascinated by applying all I have learned about competitive coaching for the benefit of recreational climbers; drawing upon lessons learned from a number of sports and disciplines. It is something I have been passionate about for a couple of decades, and it is great to be so involved at this critical stage. I look forward to adding my efforts to those of the rest of the team, in order to launch this new scheme before the end of the year"

The Coaching Award Scheme Registration

There is a single registration for the whole scheme, and candidates wishing to register must:

  • Have a genuine interest in climbing and the coaching of groups on climbing walls.
  • Have at least six months experience of climbing on a variety of climbing walls.
  • Be not less than sixteen years of age at the date of registration.
  • Be an individual or club member (of an affiliated club) of a Mountaineering Council.

Registration cost is £39 for the Scheme

You can find out more by heading to the Mountain Training UK Website


Neil Gresham's Masterclass Coaching Academy, 117 kb
Neil Gresham's Masterclass Coaching Academy
It's not first coaching scheme in the UK though - there's already Neil Gresham’s Masterclass Coaching Academy.

MCA is an independent coaching qualification scheme for sport climbing and bouldering, which is managed by one of Britain’s leading coaching pioneers, Neil Gresham. The scheme consists of four 2-day courses and a 2-day assessment, which are held at Westway climbing centre in London and at the Quay in Exeter. MCA is aimed at aspirant coaches or anyone who wishes to improve their own climbing. The main focus is on coaching intermediates and elites and there is a minimum standard of French 6b to attend courses and F7a (onsight) / V5 boulder to pass the assessment.  The courses can be attended individually as CPD modules and places are still available on the next series.

More details:

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