Do you love sport enough to teach it?

Multi-sports coach Emma Brown knows how to whip any budding young tennis player or footballer into good shape no matter how skilled they are.

Multi-sports coach Emma Brown knows how to whip any budding young tennis player or footballer into good shape no matter how skilled they are.

The 28-year-old, from Shipcote, Gateshead, teaches children and young adults across the borough through special schemes and programmes, whether they are just starting their school years or have been expelled for unruly behaviour.

A keen footballer, and now a coach for girls wanting to get involved in the beautiful game, Emma did a degree in sports sciences at Liverpool John Moores University and also found time to spend three months coaching in the USA during 2002.

"When I completed my degree and was starting out in coaching there were very few opportunities for people wanting to do it full-time," said Emma.

"Now I specialise in women's and disability football. When I was growing up there wasn't coaching for these things so that spurred me on.

"There definitely needs to be more people training as coaches, especially in time for the 2012 London Olympics. And coaches can have a really positive impact on youngsters."

Employed by the sport and physical activity development team at Gateshead Council, community multi-sports coach Emma set up a leadership course using facilities at Carr Hill Primary School in Deckham.

Many of the young adults, aged 16 and over, registered for the Community Sports Leadership Award (CSLA) course were referred from Connexions as part of the Alternative Education Programme for young people who had been expelled from school.

Also enrolled on the course were young people who participate in the Positive Futures and Sports Outreach programme, a social inclusion project working in some of the most deprived areas of Gateshead.

The remainder of the students were from the Ace 2000 project - a military preparation course.

"The CSLA course showed us how to control a group and handle difficult situations," said CSLA student Scot McGee, 16.

"However, since I have been placed within Gateshead Council's physical activity team, I have grown in confidence. I have been placed with qualified coaches who have helped me so much.

"I have always wanted to be a sports coach but have no qualifications and I was kicked out of school so thought it wouldn't be possible but now it may come true."

For Emma, one of her driving passions is working with children just like Scot and watching their sports skills - and behaviour - improve.

"We can really change a child's life positively as some have had a pretty tough background and might have been told they are no good at anything," explained Emma.

"Some of the kids only like doing sports and coaches can show them there is a future in that."

Just one of the organisations aiming to encourage young men and women in the region to become coaches is Sport England.

"Coaches are extremely important in encouraging participation in sport and providing expert tuition to people of all ages, backgrounds and sporting abilities," said Sport England North East regional director Judith Rasmussen.

"And good coaches are a fundamental link in the delivery system for sport and ensure activities are safe and enjoyable for all involved."

The region is also bursting with talented rowers, with eight of the 18 rowing athletes who competed in the Junior Olympics in Australia in January coming from the North East.

And for Chester-le-Street Rowing Club coach Andrew Bryant, the sport runs in the family. Sons Edward, 22, and William, 21, are club members and have continued to row at university. And 19-year-old daughter Victoria travels the world to compete at rowing.

She was one of the 18 team members for the Junior Olympic team in January and recently returned from a competition in Germany.

"As a region we are quite strong for rowing and it was my family's interest in the sport which got me into coaching," explained Andrew, 47, who lives with wife Judith, 48, in Chester-le-Street. "I first became involved in the club in 1998 when my children were going but they needed volunteers so I became club secretary. Then there was a massive shortage of coaches so in 2004 I did a course in teaching rowing.

"I've watched rowing make a huge difference to the lives of my children and it opens doors with things like university applications.

"And for me it's not just about rowing skills. The sport teaches you life skills as well - it says a lot about a person if they can turn out for rowing coaching through wet, cold and miserable weather. It takes a lot of discipline."

Among the members at the club are 30 juniors. "I really like seeing the young members develop and move forward," said Andrew, who is chair of the Northern Region Rowing Council.

"People definitely have different ambitions when it comes to rowing, whether it's competing or doing it socially, but as a coach it's pleasing when you see someone who is not sure what they want out of it move up to the next level."

We can really change a child's life positively as some have had a pretty tough background and might have been told they are no good at anything

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