Background: Community sport can potentially help to increase levels of physical activity and improve public health. Sport coaches have a role to play in designing and implementing community sport for health. To equip the community sport workforce with the knowledge and skills to design and deliver sport and empower inactive participants to take part, this study delivered a bespoke training package on public health and recruiting inactive people to community sport for sport coaches. We examined the views of sport coach participants about the training and their role in designing and delivering a complex community sport intervention for increasing physical activity and improving health. Methods: Semi-structured interviews were conducted with paid full-time sport coaches (n = 15) and community sport managers and commissioners (n = 15) with expertise in sport coaching. Interviews were conducted by a skilled interviewer with in-depth understanding of community sport and sport coach training, transcribed verbatim and analysed using thematic analysis. Results: Three key themes were identified showing how the role of sport coaches can be maximised in designing and delivering community sport for physical activity and health outcomes, and in empowering participants to take part. The themes were: (1) training sport coaches in understanding public health, (2) public involvement in community sport for health, and (3) building collaborations between community sport and public health sectors. Conclusion: Training for sport coaches is required to develop understandings of public health and skills in targeting, recruiting and retaining inactive people to community sport. Public involvement in designing community sport is significant in empowering inactive people to take part. Ongoing knowledge exchange activities between the community sport and public health sector are also required in ensuring community sport can increase physical activity and improve public health.
- Community sport
- Complex community intervention
- Physical activity
- Public health
- Sport coaches