SkillsActive has helped secure the English Lacrosse Association (ELA) more than £480,000 in funding for training to ready the sport for an explosion in player numbers.
ELA promotes lacrosse in schools and communities and provides training, support and advice to clubs and players. English Lacrosse Association (ELA) membership soared in 2010 and national education manager Paul Coups says this number is projected to reach 25,000 by 2012.
To help manage this increase, a SkillsActive account manager helped the ELA produce a national action plan, then began brokering funding and solutions for them. SkillsActive is funded by Sport England to support national governing bodies of sport to deliver the workforce development commitments in their current plans.
Growing the workforce
SkillsActive recommended ELA sign up for the National Skills Academy for Sport and Active Leisure’s Future Jobs Fund programme (which has now closed) to provide the extra workforce ELA needed to grow the sport and sustain participation. ELA took on three FJF employees in the first funding wave. It was so impressed by the quality of employees, it agreed to take on another 35, with £228,000 provided by the government in wage subsidies.
Upskilling the workforce
A Business Link review identified a lack of level 2 and higher level coaching skills, which are necessary to develop new and existing lacrosse volunteers in England. So ELA, in conjunction with SkillsActive and City and Guilds, developed nationally recognised qualifications at NVQ levels 2 and 3 in coaching, teaching and instructing lacrosse for students and volunteer workers.
SkillsActive helped broker £12,000 from Train to Gain funding, an English Government initiative, to train 12 paid coaches and volunteers to the new NVQ level 2 coaching certificate. SkillsActive also helped ELA successfully apply for £26,000 from the Academy’s Coaching Investment Programme funding, which provides coaches with bursaries to help them develop their skills, and £3000 in local bursaries in the North West, East and Greater Manchester.
Finally, SkillsActive recommended ELA sign up for the Advanced Apprenticeship in Sporting excellence (AASE), a unique sporting qualification for young people with the potential to achieve in their sport at the highest level. Dian worked with ELA to develop an AASE portfolio. SkillsActive also formed relationships between ELA and local colleges, securing about £117,000 from the Skills Funding Agency towards training costs.
A relationship with impact
In 12 months, SkillsActive helped secure £482,000 in training and other initiatives for ELA. ELA national education manager Paul Coups says SkillsActive has been “an exceedingly good business partner”.
“We’ve worked on some phenomenal projects with SkillsActive in the past year and without their support, we would not have got this far. The next 12 months should be equally as fruitful as we capitalise on our successful hosting of the World Lacrosse Championships and work with SkillsActive to grow the sport domestically and internationally.”