Applications now open for ‘ReTrain to Retain’


Quick look:

  • Support for up to 50,000 sports coaches, volunteers, fitness professionals and group exercise instructors to return to, or remain working in, the sector as it continues to recover from the pandemic
  • Anyone working or volunteering in sport and physical activity in England can apply for training, funding, and support
  • Wide ranging support available for professionals, self-employed, micro-businesses, volunteers, and employers
  • Applications open from 2 September

ReTrain to Retain - the skills, funding and support programme for sport and physical activity in England - opens for applications today, 2 September.

ReTrain to Retain has been designed to support up to 50,000 sports coaches, volunteers, fitness professionals and group exercise instructors who have had to find work outside the sector during the Covid-19 pandemic. The programme aims to help them remain in, or return to, the sport and physical activity sector.

It will also provide additional skills, funding, and support for up to 5,000 self-employed professionals and micro-businesses and will work with up to 500 sector employers to address skills shortages and fund essential training.

The programme, part of an ambitious £5m job retention and support package (funded by Sport England through the National Lottery), is being delivered by CIMSPA alongside UK Coaching and EMD UK.

From 2 September, ReTrain to Retain will support applications via a dedicated website, where visitors will also be able to immediately access a range of free resources and benefits from CIMSPA, UK Coaching, EMD UK and others; all designed to support people in getting their careers and businesses back on track.

From late September, eligible applicants for the core ReTrain to Retain programme will be able to access a wealth of training, resources, and tools, including:

  • 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

Up to 5000 self-employed professionals and owners of micro-businesses will receive additional support to help cover the costs of getting their business back on track, such as insurance costs, music licencing, equipment, clothing, and venue access. This support will be targeted at those working in areas of economic deprivation, providing services to tackle inequalities, or facing unemployment.

Tara Dillon, CEO of CIMSPA, said:

“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. 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 emerge from Covid-19. I am delighted that we are able to provide this service with support from Sport England and our other partners."

Tim Hollingsworth, Chief Executive of Sport England, said:

"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. 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."

Marcus Kingwell, CEO of EMD UK commented:

"Retrain to Retain is a vital project to help those who have had to find work outside the sector during the pandemic. EMD UK research found many group exercise instructors were unable to gain support from the Government’s self-employed income support scheme during the pandemic. This left them with no option but to look for work outside of the sector.

"We are working on the ReTrain to Retain scheme to welcome these instructors back to the industry they know and love. These resources, training, and support will make their journey easier as they #StandAtTheFront inspiring more communities to get active."

Mark Gannon, CEO of UK Coaching said:

"So many coaches give their time freely to make a difference to people’s lives and the communities they live in. I am delighted that this scheme not only supports those who were previously in paid roles, but that it also supports and recognises those who coach voluntarily, and specifically, those from communities who were especially affected by the pandemic.

"We are pleased and proud to support all those who support, guide and inspire people and communities to be active."

To find out more and apply for support, visit the ReTrain to Retain website below


Chartered Institute for the Management of Sport and Physical Activity

CIMSPA's work enhances the career opportunities and professional development of the workforce operating in sport, fitness, exercise, leisure, gym, coaching, health and wellbeing. We achieve this through sector-wide engagement, membership, networking, events, directories and professional standards.


Incorporated by Royal Charter Charity registration number 1144545

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