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Interview with Director of Programmes at Greenhouse Sport

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Confident Coaches and Motivated Mentors

Charlotte Hall, Business Development Officer at Leap, caught up with Chris Allbut, Director of Programmes at Greenhouse Sports, to talk about work commissioned in 2019 and the positive impact on both its coaches and young people.

Charitable Football Fundraiser
      Photographer: Alicia

Charlotte: Could you tell us a little bit about Greenhouse Sports and the work you do with young people?

Chris: At Greenhouse Sports (GHS) we use sports coaching and mentoring to engage young people who may be vulnerable or facing challenges. Our coaches play a vital part in developing young people’s social, emotional and  physical skills with the aim of helping them thrive. As well as delivering sports activities, coaches do a lot of one-to-one mentoring of young people, developing strong relationships with them over the course of their engagement. I reached out to Leap for training for coaches in mentoring skills so they could have a shared understanding of how to structure a mentor/mentee relationship.

Charlotte: Why did you choose Leap to deliver the training?

Chris: We went to Leap because of your strong reputation in the sector and we weren’t disappointed. The process of designing the training was really collaborative; we were already doing an introduction to mentoring training at  Greenhouse Sports, we didn’t want to duplicate content and Leap really took this on board. You tailored the training around our learning needs and deepened our coaches’ learning and skill set. The style of training also really suited us – it was engaging and fun, learning through role play, games and reflective discussion, and meant the team enjoyed themselves whilst learning

It was one of the best courses I have ever been on. The tutors were excellent. The only way to improve would be to have refresher courses annually to reinforce the learning points. Everyone in GHS should take this training

Charlotte; We have worked with 30 of your coaches so far and we’re coming back in 2020 to train more. Now it’s 8 months since we delivered the first mentoring skills course, could you tell us about any examples of how the training has been used by the coaches and any changes you have noticed?

Chris: The mentoring training has been positively received by all of our coaches who have attended so far. The coaches have felt that they can apply the knowledge to their existing delivery within their school programmes. In addition, some coaches have started some mentoring groups away from the court or table as they now feel confident in using strategies learnt from the course. These include ways of building trust between the coach and the participants, and between participants, which allows the coach to use the strategies to initiate conversations about difficult subjects. Coaches have fed back to me that they have seen development in the young people they work with, where they have started to make better decisions, communicate more effectively with school staff and other students and gain more control of their emotions. We look forward to completing the Leap mentoring training with our remaining coaches.


For over 30 years we have provided innovative training to professionals across a wide range of youth sectors including education, criminal justice, the voluntary sector, and local councils. Learn more about our approach and themes covered for adults working with young people.