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ReTrain to Retain opens for applications

We've invested £5 million of National Lottery funding into the project aimed at helping keep workers in the sport and physical activity sector.

03rd September 2021

Up to 50,000 sports coaches, volunteers, fitness professionals and group exercise instructors can now apply for support to return to working in the sector as it continues to recover from the coronavirus pandemic.

ReTrain to Retain is a skills, funding and support programme that we’ve invested £5 million of National Lottery funding in and will be run by the Chartered Institute for the Management of Sport and Physical Activity (CIMSPA).

The programme has been designed for those who, prior to the pandemic, worked in the sport and physical activity sector but had to find other work as a result of the restrictions imposed on sporting activities and facilities.

Children line up alongside a tennis court as a coach demonstrates a drill.

It aims to help them return, as well as provide additional skills, funding and support for up to 5,000 self-employed professionals and micro-businesses, as well as work with up to 500 sector employers to address skills shortages and fund essential training.

UK Coaching and Exercise, Movement and Dance UK (EMD UK) will work with CIMSPA to deliver the programme and our chief executive, Tim Hollingsworth, is appreciative of the efforts already made by the sector to help people return to sport and activity.

“It’s been fantastic to see people embrace the return to sport and physical activity, but we must ensure that the employees across the sector who have made that happen are supported in every way possible,” he said.

“It has been an extremely tough year for many sports and fitness professionals - so I am delighted to support ReTrain to Retain as part of our ongoing commitment to boost our sector’s recovery from the pandemic.”

Applications for support are now open via the ReTrain to Retain website, with applicants also able to immediately access a range of free resources and benefits from the delivery partners, and others, all designed to support people in getting their careers and businesses back on track.

Later this month, eligible applicants for the core programme will be able to able to access the full set of tools and resources.

These include:

  • Learning opportunities, products and services provided by CIMSPA, EMD UK, UK Coaching and other suppliers and supporters
  • Access to member benefits supplied by CIMSPA
  • Training and resources from UK Coaching, for sports coaches
  • Subscription to UK Coaching Club
  • A range of career-boosting resources, webinars and class delivery tools from EMD UK
  • The CIMSPA Digital Marketing Hub, to improve digital marketing skills
  • A series of live webinars delivered by experts in their field
  • A job matching service to help people gain employment with CIMSPA employer partners
  • Access to training and qualifications based on individual needs, through ReTrain funding.

As well as these resources, the 5,000 self-employed professionals and owners of micro-businesses being supported will receive additional assistance to help cover the costs of getting back on track – these could include, insurance fees, music licensing, equipment, clothing and venue access.

In keeping with the goals of our Uniting the Movement strategy, this support will be targeted at those working in areas of economic deprivation, providing services to tackle inequalities, or facing unemployment.

And for Tara Dillon, chief executive of CIMSPA, it’s support that is needed.

“ReTrain to Retain will be a major boost to the sport and physical activity community, enabling many thousands of professionals to stay in, or return to, the sector,” she said.

“From sports coaches to personal trainers, swimming teachers and group exercise instructors, everyone has a vital role to play in keeping the nation physically and mentally healthy as we continue to recover from Covid-19.

“I am delighted that we are able to provide this service with support from Sport England and our other partners.”

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