Institute of Sporting Futures

(Notre Dame School) Fulwood Road, Sheffield, S10 3BT

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About us

Your fast track to a career in sports coaching

Passionate about sport?

Challenge your limits, reach your potential, and take your first steps to a successful career in sports, fitness or leisure with ISF. A brand new programme for school leavers endorsed by Olympic champion Jessica Ennis-Hill, ISF will help you build the future you want.

What is ISF?

ISF is the fast track route to a sports coaching career. A unique two-year programme for school leavers, it provides all the essential qualifications, knowledge and hands on experience needed to start working in the sports, leisure and fitness industries. ISF is a real alternative to A-levels or apprenticeships, designed for those who want to turn their love for sport into a successful career.

Student support

Students will benefit from:

- Discounted sports coaching kit

- Dedicated Learner Liaison Officer

- Fantastic employment links

Students will be supported throughout their 2-year journey into a successful sports coaching career.

What makes us different?

ISF has been developed in conjunction with one of Britain’s best-loved and most successful athletes, Dame Jessica Ennis-Hill. A London 2012 Olympic gold medallist and three-time world champion in the heptathlon, Jess inspired millions with her achievements. Now, she’s part of the ISF programme to help motivate and inspire a new generation of world class sports coaches across the UK

She quoted " I know there are a lot of young people out there who see their future in sport. Through the ISF, we hope to give them a pathway to follow that will teach the many life skills that I learned as an athlete - discipline, time-keeping, passion, planning and application, whilst at the same time giving them valuable qualification. "

The ISF programme is a combination of academic qualifications, industry standard qualifications and real-life work placements, which is the perfect preparation for a student leaving further education.

Unlike any other Post 16 programme, ISF is designed with employment, higher education and worldwide opportunities in mind as realistic exit routes. Learners will benefit from a first class education whilst taking the Level 3 Diploma in Sport and Physical Activities, as well as having the opportunity to work alongside passionate and experienced leading industry professionals during their work placement.


Students will be expected to commute to Notre Dame High School 2-days per week.

Work placement locations will be considered on an individual basis and be decided on the most suitable location available for each student.

Additional information


- Coaching practice work placement – 200+ hours per year 

- Welcome team building event with Jess

- Recruitment day with global partners

- Guest Lecturers and seminars with coaching and sports influencer's 

- Celebration event with Jess

Social Media

Twitter = @ISF7_social

Instagram = isf7_social

Facebook =

Kick Start Your Coaching Career – Post 16 Programmes at First Step Sports

“The ISF programme delivered by First Step Training has given me a big head-start on my career. I didn’t want to be stuck in the classroom, and the course meant I could start coaching straight away. The experience has been really useful, and given me the confidence needed to start coaching straight away.”

Morgan Scrivener, First Step Sports Advanced Apprentice

Morgan Scrivener is one of our Advanced apprentices, who joined us following the successful completion of a Post 16 Programme at First Step Training.

Here’s his story…

Post 16 Education

Morgan joined us in September 2018, after completing his GCSEs. Passionate about sport, he was looking for a programme that would put him on the path to a career in coaching.

He discovered our Post 16 Programme, and was attracted to the practical side of the course. The programme combines 2 days of classroom learning with 3 days of practical coaching each week – getting candidates coaching in the real world with support from our experienced team.

During the course, Morgan gained a wealth of coaching experience (200+ hours), working in local schools on a range of programmes. At the end of the course, he gained his Diploma in Sport and Physical Activities, including Level 2 Multi-Skills, Level 2 PE & School Sport, Level 2 Principles of Coaching and a First Aid Certificate – essential foundation skills for any aspiring coach.

Onwards to Apprenticeship

As part of our post 16 programme, we guarantee all successful candidates an interview at a local coaching business – in this case, at First Step Sports Group! Morgan aced the interview, and started full time with us in Summer 2019 as an Advanced Apprentice in Supporting the Delivery of PE and School Sport.

As part of his new role, Morgan is earning while he learns - working towards a further qualification, whilst developing a variety of skills coaching across the First Step Group.

He now works full time, delivering Primary School PE, Bikeability courses, First Step Wild education programmes and more, building valuable hands on experience that he can use in his future career.

Into The Future

After completing his apprenticeship, Morgan plans to continue his development with some further education – possibly a university course.

His ultimate goal is to stay in coaching, and he has tentative plans to become a PE Teacher. Wherever his coaching takes him, the First Step programme has provided him with a strong foundation for future success – with the qualifications and experience needed to build his dream career.