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Infusing disability into coach education and development: a critical review and agenda for change

Background: The training of coaches is considered central to sustaining and improving the quality of sports provision. In Parasport, coaches are recognised at the highest level of international sport policy as performing a central role in achieving important sporting and social outcomes related to disabled people. However, an emerging body of evidence suggests that formal coach education plays only a minor role in Parasport coaches’ development. To ensure equitable access and quality experiences and opportunities for disabled people in sport there is an ongoing challenge to theorise and implement the optimal structure for educating coaches. Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to address the central theme of disability and coach education reform in sport. The aim is to review critically the emerging literature on coach development in Parasport to provide some clarity and consensus on existing pathways and models for coach development, before outlining some potential ways forward for coach education. Discussion and Conclusions: Starting with a critical review of existing research on coaches’ learning and development in Parasport, we then examine potential approaches to coach education, providing examples from existing research in coaching and the wider field of education. This is followed by some modest suggestions for coach education reform as it pertains to the inclusion of disability.
Journal Article
Type of thesis
Townsend, R. C., Huntley, T. D., Cushion, C. J., & Culver, D. (2021). Infusing disability into coach education and development: a critical review and agenda for change. Physical Education and Sport Pedagogy. https://doi.org/10.1080/17408989.2021.1873932
Taylor & Francis
This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Physical education and sport pedagogy on 19 January 2021, available online: http://www.tandfonline.com/10.1080/17408989.2021.1873932