BWLA Assistant Club Coaches’ Course Review

I completed the British Weight Lifting Association’s (BWLA) Assistant Club Coaches’ Course this weekend, and thought it would be nice to write up a few things about it.

It was a 2 day course, all day Saturday and Sunday, and teaches you how to coach the basic Olympic Weightlifting lifts, specifically the Snatch, Clean and Jerk. Whilst it is predominantly a practical course, it doffs a cap to health and safety obviously, a bit on stretching, warm-ups and downs and scheduling (or programming if you prefer that term). As I said though, it is mostly a practical course with some time watching demos of the lifts, plenty of time to personally practice the lifts in small groups of 3 or 4, and a lot of opportunity to coach others.

In terms of assessment, there was a practical test where we had to stand up in front of the group and go though the BWLA method for teaching the Power Clean, including a personal demonstration and also coaching a student. Additionally there’s a 90 minute written exam at the end, which has been sent off for marking, so I’ll have to wait to hear back on how I did on that. It didn’t escape my notice that I was the last to finish the exam! The point being, that this isn’t just a “Certificate of Attendance” course; t is assessed both practically and academically.

We were very lucky to have as our instructors, 2 very experienced lifters who have both lifted on the international stage and refereed at a world class level: Suzy Trebillock and Eddie Halstead. It was a privilege to benefit from their experience.

It was a useful course and I do recommend it. As a Level 1 course it gives the basics of how to breakdown and teach the Olympic lifts. There is a follow on Level 2 course, which is the full BWLA Club Coaches’ course which is over 2 weekends, but that is more theoretical, looking more a physiology and programming rather than practical hands on coaching.

{ 10 comments… add one }
  • jason moore 30 September 2010, 12:13 pm

    Have you received any correspondence from them yet , certificate etc

  • Colin McNulty 30 September 2010, 10:03 pm

    Gah, don’t get me started Jason. I think you already know the answer: no! I’ve phoned 4 times and been given 4 excuses. The last one was that it was posted on Friday last week, but it’s still not turned up yet. Allegedly, they messed up everyone’s addresses and they were sent out to random addresses, so if you haven’t got yours, get on the phone to the main office. The number is: 0113 812 7098

    I hope you have better luck than I’m having. All I can say is this, how were we meant to book on the Level 2 course if 3 months later we still haven’t got the results from the Level 1 one?!?

  • Tom 8 December 2010, 1:00 pm

    Im interested in doing the level 2, I’ve already the level one last year but they dont seem to answer the phone.
    I remember having the same problem last year, waiting and waiting for my certificate to come through…
    Is there any other number to call to contact BWLA..?

  • Colin McNulty 8 December 2010, 1:34 pm

    My certificate did eventually turn up. I suggest you go to the main BWLA site and see if their number has changed.

  • Tom 9 December 2010, 10:40 am

    Yeah mine did too last year, just took ages! You will be hard pushed to get a job with Level 1, the only reason i did was because i worked at the leisure centre as a lifeguard before hand (funny thing was my first induction spoke about me so higly that his friend came in and only wanted me to do the induction and the first guy came back to me and wouldnt settle for anyone else to do his revamp)… Qualifications mean **** all though, i’ve been training 4 years and it shows, everything i learnt was from being told, seeing what works for me, learning from books/internet and other gym instructors / trainers… the only reason I will do my level 2 is just so i can get work more easily then go on to doing a personal training course through the leisure centre.
    Good luck mate, hope it works out for you.

  • Colin McNulty 9 December 2010, 10:55 am

    As I understand it, the level 2 is more academic and based around programming, which is not something I’m interested in. I’m not after a job so it’s not relevant. The level 1 course was at a gym a mile from my front door, so it seemed silly not to go, I’m all for learning and personal development, and you never know when it might come in handy.

    Good luck to you too Tom.

  • Michaela Breeze 5 July 2011, 12:18 pm

    Hey guys and girls of Cross Fit all over the country,
    A Cross Fit seems to be growing and growing, it is great to see so many of you getting in to Olympic Weightlifting exercises and more importantly wanting to do it correctly. I am currently a part time PE teacher in Devon and having recently retired from an 18 year Olympic Weightlifting career at the highest levels, i am looking to take on more coaching in weightlifting. Please google me for some of my achievements which include having competed at the last two Olympic Games and medalled at the last three Commonwealth Games. I have also coached numerous young athletes from scratch to Junior and Senior International level. If you are interested in me running a session or two, drop me an e-mail ( and i will get back to you. Please feel free to pass this message on to other cross fit gyms or contact you have.

    I wish you all the best in your training,
    Michaela Breeze

  • david harris 20 January 2013, 3:40 pm

    back in 1989 onwards I completed 2 bawla courses in weight lifting.ive lost my qualification details.can you help me to retrieve them

  • Kenneth Williams 28 January 2017, 12:36 pm

    Hello I have had my qualifications stolen that included my BWLA, qualification from 2003 for correct weightlifting form and technique, van I possible get a duplicate as I value this certificate most important of them all and I have successfully completed a few. But to get back to work and produce my certificates I am trying to replace them as they are over a number of years as part of my continuous progressive development, thank you.

  • Colin McNulty 10 February 2017, 6:22 am

    Kenneth, you need to contact BWLA directly. Their phone number is 0113 224 9402, or their email is:

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