Workforce Devlopment Audit - British Gymnastics

Workforce Devlopment Audit

The information below is taken from a report on coach auditing and workforce development. It was prepared by Transition UK Ltd, a research consultancy. The report was written using the responses to surveys of clubs and coaches undertaken in conjunction with sportscoach UK in November 2008 to January 2009.

Headline objectives of the research were to collect data which would facilitate the development of:

  • An accurate picture of the current coaching workforce
  • An accurate picture of the current coaching provision
  • An assessment of coaching need in the sport
  • An analysis of the supply of, and demand for, coaching

An analysis for workforce development planning that would enable the governing bodies for gymnastics to identify priorities and target resources effectively.

The report was used by British Gymnastics as an evidence base for the development of a Workforce Development Plan for gymnastics.

Survey Facts:

  • Questionnaire surveys were developed for distribution to both coaches and clubs
  • The content of the surveys was based on existing sportscoach UK templates. Governing bodies also added some limited bespoke questions
  • British Gymnastics provided free memberships for coaches as incentives for completion of the surveys
  • The surveys were made available in hard copy format and online
  • Surveys were conducted between November and early January 2009 in order to supply data to sportscoach UK for its Coaching Workforce 2009-2016 document
  • Total responses were received from 2262 coaches and 160 clubs

Coach and coaching supply analysis

Coach profile – age, gender and ethnicity

In contrast with many sports, the profile of gymnastics coaches responding to the survey demonstrates a predominantly female, white, non-disabled profile. 80% of respondents to the coach survey were female, 89% described their ethnicity as white, and 3.4% of respondents considered themselves to have a disability. This compares with a national coach profile of 62% male, 92% white and 22% with a disability.
In relation to age, 36.1% of gymnastics coaches were ages 21 years or younger, with 47.5% over 30 years. This compares with national coach survey responses indicating that 59% of coaches were aged 35 years or older.
Key issues:
  • The influence that coaches can have as role models is well documented. The dominant profile of gymnastics coaches currently is female, white and non-disabled. Interventions to attain a more balanced profile of coaches may be needed in the long term
  • The age profile of gymnastics coaches is younger than the national average which might be expected in an early specialisation sport. The younger age profile of coaches may prove challenging where clubs are reliant upon younger people as a high proportion may still be in full-time education the workforce could be transient.

Coach profile – Economic Status

  • The majority of the coaching workforce is voluntary, with 52.3% of responses indicating that a coaching position was unpaid. This is lower than in national findings (sportscoach UK Sports Coaching in the UK II, 2007), which indicated a 70% voluntary workforce. On the basis of the survey responses, gymnastics would appear to have a higher proportion of paid coaches than most sports, though the majority of these paid positions declared were for 10 hours per week or less (30.9%), with only 4.1% of respondents (n=103) in a full-time paid position of 30+ hours/week.

Additionally, the figures show that most gymnastics coaches, whether paid or unpaid, work less than 10 hours per week (69.3%).

Economic Status of Coaches by Gender and work hours per week
Coaching settings

The most used coaching settings are leisure centres (32.9%), dedicated gymnastics centres (26.2%), and schools (24.1%).

Source: Transition UK. 2009. Gymnastics Coach Audit and Workforce Development Report