Coaching is a great way to express your passion for a sport, get actively involved instead of standing on the sidelines and help people of all ages in your community benefit from an active lifestyle.

To support people in Bucks & MK who are interested in coaching, we have a coaching fund of up to £400 available which can help individuals achieve mainstream leadership or coaching qualifications. We caught up with Danielle Weller, who has recently benefitted from the coaching fund to find out what a difference it has made to her.

Why did you become interested in sports coaching?

I had done a little coaching whilst at University and it made me realise how rewarding it was watching my own teammates improve and seeing how they benefited from the guidance. This encouraged me to gain the formal qualification so that I could encourage female cricketers to join the sport and to stick with it.

Why did you apply to the Leap Coach Fund? What course did the funding allow you to complete?

I wanted to complete the Level 2 Cricket Coaching for Young People and Adults. I applied for the funding because without it I may not have been able to fund myself for the course, but with this funding and with financial support from my club I was able to complete the course and recently passed successfully. I am now able to encourage young girls and women to enjoy the sport in the comfortable and familiar environment of having a female coach which I believe is a great benefit for them and for the club.

How has this qualification/award impacted your development as a coach and consequently benefited the participants within your sessions?

I am now already coaching twice a week, U10s once a week and the Women’s Soft Ball side once a week. This in itself gives me as a coach far more opportunity to learn and improve. In the U10s group, there are three young girls, out of a very large group of boys, who already feel more confident in their ability just by having me there. I can see how much more comfortable and relaxed they which means there are now able to benefit from coaching. I also feel as though I am a role model for them which I hope keeps them involved with the sport.

Have you managed to transfer any other skills you have developed from your workplace / personal life to your coaching?

I would say it is the other way around, the coaching has developed my confidence and leadership skills in the workplace which is extremely beneficial. However, my calm and encouraging work attitude has transferred into my coaching style which I hope has created a positive environment for my sessions.

After gaining your qualifications, what are the next steps for you as a coach?

I will continue to coach twice a week over the summer season but after this, I hope to try and coach different groups from what I have already had experience doing. I would also like to try and engage with university women’s teams as I believe that that is such an exciting place to get involved with cricket.

If you would like to apply to the Leap coach fund please click here. If you would like further information on this fund and whether or not you are eligible to apply please contact Shay Fenlon on 01296 585604.