The perfect combination of expertise and passion forms the core of funetics’ new initiative

The perfect combination of expertise and passion forms the core of funetics’ new initiative which is all about developing skills for emerging young coaching talent who will support the young children in the funetics programme or club junior sections.

funetics is a fun and inclusive programme, launched by England Athletics to help 4 to 11-year -old children across the country to learn, develop and practice running, jumping and throwing skills all year round, for a healthy confident future.

The funetics leaders' certificate, soon to be launched, will help clubs grow their coaching team, which will enable them to better support their junior sections or indeed create junior sections.

funetics leaders' certificate will also support those volunteers who wish to start their leadership and coaching journey or they simply wish to better help their club.

The funetics leaders' certificate is available to anyone aged 14 years or above and can be accessed by attending a workshop booked through a club. The funetics leaders can thereafter support qualified club coaches during sessions.

Kay Gibson, who is a coach at Peterborough and Nene Valley Athletics club and has more than 80 under 11s turn up for her Monday night session says: “With such a large number of young children to cope with, I was very happy when one of our own young athletes and England U17 Indoor Champs semi-finalist Katie Marsh asked if she could help.”

“It’s fabulous fun and really useful for my own athletics,” says Katie, a passionate hurdler looking forward to the summer track season. “I wanted to do a course, so to get all the qualifications you need through this scheme is really brilliant,” she says.

“I’ve been at the club for 44 years,” continues Kay, pleased to have been invited to the launch of the scheme at event hosted by World Champion Katrina Johnson-Thompson. “It’s so exciting; it’s not just the children getting involved. I’ve seen athletes and coaches getting involved and I’ve seen teachers loving it. That’s so important. And of course, the kids loved it!”

Katie is hugely important in all of this as she divides her training week at the track between hurdles sessions on a Tuesday and Thursday before lending a hand coaching the U11s on a Monday evening.