Project 500 to help group leaders in Oxfordshire progress


A programme of support being offered through England Athletics and the Oxfordshire Sports Partnership is underway which aims to increase the number of coaches progressing from the LiRF to the CiRF qualification.

Through Project 500, Oxfordshire Sports Partnership have committed to providing bursaries for five current Leadership in Running Fitness (LiRF) qualified leaders to go on to complete the Coach in Running Fitness (CiRF) qualification to help further the provision within local running groups.

Project 500 is a collaborative coach development initiative across the South East region campaigning to address the imbalance in the number of male to female coaches, and aiming to create a more diverse workforce to drive the growth of female participation in sport.

In addition to funding opportunities, Project 500 coaches can access subsidised ‘In the Zone’ Workshops and CPD workshops, training needs analysis, mentoring opportunities and networking forums. The aim of the project is to recruit, develop and retain 500 female coaches across the seven South East counties by March 2015.

Having promoted the opportunity to local leaders, a recent workshop was delivered by an England Athletics Local Club and Coach Support Officer to provide information on progressing from LiRF to CiRF. The session was designed to provide detail of the course content and requirements, support available and provide the opportunity for attendees to ask questions about the course. In addition, those that go on to receive Project 500 funding will also be offered local developmental support from England Athletics to support completion of the course, and the opportunity to join the Local Coach Development Programme.

Following the workshop, Denise Brown, Coaching Development Manager at Oxfordshire Sports Partnership, said: "This is an exciting opportunity for leaders within the county and with an upcoming Coach in Running Fitness course being held in Oxford this will be a perfect opportunity for local leaders being supported through Project 500 to begin working towards completing their CiRF qualification."

For more information on completing a LiRF qualification, please visit

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