PE - Coaching across the pond

A Renfrewshire teenager has described how a programme aimed at getting youngsters involved in sports coaching led to the trip of a lifetime to the United States.

Arlene McShane, 18, was one of only four people chosen out of 300 to travel across the Atlantic for more experience of coaching.

The former pupil at St Benedict's High, in Linwood, had taken part in Renfrewshire's School of Sport Education while in S6. When the Youth Sports Trust came looking for young leaders to attend a residential course in Loughborough, Arlene was one of only two Scots to attend. She was then chosen to spend two weeks in Maine, attending a high school and sharing her coaching experience.

"I am not a world champion sportswoman, but you don't have to be to be a good coach," said Arlene. "You have to throw yourself in at the deep end, like me."

The School of Sport Education, run by the University of the West of Scotland, is in its fourth year. A total of 81 students have taken part and provided 13,000 voluntary hours; almost half are still providing play, sport and physical activity in their communities.

Arlene, who is now studying for an HND at Greenock's James Watt College, continues to coach with the Active Schools programme in Renfrewshire.

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