England men’s coach Gavin Evans is among the first cohort in the new High-Performance Coach Apprenticeship (HiCAP) programme launched today by UK Sport.

HiCAP is targeted at coaches with high potential or those transitioning into high-performance environments.

Set to run for 18 months, 26 coaches from 16 Olympic and Paralympic sports will come together to develop professional knowledge, skills and gain experiences relevant to their contexts.

The programme is designed to evolve with the coaches, firmly placing their individual needs and wants at the heart of the experience and adapting to support their growth as expert coaches for current and future roles in high-performance environments.

The majority of the programme will be spent learning in their environment, on-the-job, as well as from each other through a series of seminars and field-based work.

Each coach will have access to a coach developer, helping them to develop their coaching practice in context, enhance existing strengths and develop all other aspects of their coaching.

Gavin, who was last year appointed as England National Men’s Coach through to the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games, is excited to be part of the first cohort.

He said: “HiCAP gives me the opportunity to learn, engage and create while talking and thinking critically with other experienced coaches.

“I’m really excited to be part of it and appreciate the opportunity it gives me.”

HiCAP has been created as a direct action from the work of UK Sport, and partners including Sport England, the English Institute of Sport and UK Coaching, trailblazing the first ever sports coach specific apprenticeship in the UK in collaboration with the Chartered Institute for the Management of Sport and Physical Activity (CIMSPA).

On completion of the programme and associated assessments each coach enrolled will be awarded a Level 4 Sports Coach Apprenticeship certificate and be well under way to achieving CIMSPA chartered member status.

The coaches will also have access to post-graduate coach learning and development provision on completion of HiCAP, if this is something that would benefit them and that they are interested in pursuing further as individuals.

Sally Munday, CEO at UK Sport, said: “The launch of the High-Performance Coach Apprenticeship is a great moment for our Olympic and Paralympic high-performance community and I would like to welcome all 26 coaches who have been named as part of this first cohort.

“Coaches, supporting our athletes, are at the heart of our high-performance community and we firmly believe that a more diverse cohort of highly skilled coaches will help more of our Olympic and Paralympic athletes realise their potential. This programme is set to play a key role in us achieving that.”