Coaching Guidelines & FAQs

Keep up to date with the current guidelines for coaching in our venues or find an answer to our most frequently asked questions about coaching below:





To ensure the safety of everyone in our venues we’ve introduced some important changes for our coaching customers. We will continue to review these measures and be guided by the Scottish Government and sports governing bodies over the coming months. Please keep checking our website for the most up to date information as we continue to adapt to keep everyone safe. Here are the key guidelines that apply to everyone.

1. Dropping off and picking up children

  • If your child is 9 or over: you must drop off and pick up your child at designated doors (usually either main reception or the Sports Hall fire exit doors).  Our team will be there to help if needed. Please make appropriate arrangements with your child to collect them outside the building.
  • If your child is 5 (but at school) – 8: If your child needs help you can come into the venue with them, but must leave the venue whilst your child is in the class and return in time for the end of class to the designated area. 
  • If your child is from 0 – 5 (in a Pre-School class): you must come in with your child and stay with them/participate in class, or wait for them in a designated area in the venue.
    For Gym Nippers, due to current restrictions all preschool children must be accompanied by an adult who can physically support them in the class, with instruction from the coach. The current guidance does not allow any coach (whatever their age) to carry out hands on coaching with any child (whatever their age). Preschool classes are therefore strongly recommended to have a ratio of one adult per child to ensure that the child can safely participate in the class and to enable them to take part in all the activities. In certain circumstances, this can increase to a maximum of one adult to two children however this has to be agreed in advance with our gymnastics coordinator or venue management. All children and adults in the area must maintain physical distancing from all other adults (including coaches) during the class in line with Scottish Government regulations. As ever, we are subject to Scottish Government and National Governing Body guidance and this may change.

We understand that there may be some circumstances where you may need to stay and support your child. Please discuss your requirements with the venue if this is the case.

Click the 'What to expect in your venue' button above for full details of where to drop off and pick up for each of our venues.

2. Arrival time

Please arrive no earlier than 5 minutes before the start of your class, or before the time to pick up your child at the end of class. Your child will not be able to join their class if you are more than 5 minutes late.

3. What to wear

Children should arrive ready for their activity as there are no or limited changing spaces available. For swimming lessons this means  ‘beach ready’. By this we mean easily removeable footwear and ideally a onesie or cosy robe over your child's swimwear. We are not allowed to put on or adjust your child's goggles so please ensure your child can put them on themselves or you fit them before your child comes through to the pool for their class.  For sports that are not in the pool, children should arrive wearing their activity clothes, with simple to remove outerwear if needed.

4. No spectating

If you are coming into the venue with your child you will not be able to spectate. Spectators are not allowed under the current guidelines.

5. Accompanying siblings

We have to maintain a safe number of people in our venues at any one time. If you are coming into our buildings with your child for their lesson, only one adult can accompany a child and we are asking our customers not to take siblings/other children with them if at all possible. Children under 12 do not have to distance from each other, but still have to distance from other adults and therefore still have to be accounted for in our safety measures and calculations. See (1) above for guidance relating to Gym Nippers.

6. Changing, showers, lockers and toilets

Children should arrive wearing their activity clothes (under outdoor clothes). There are no lockers available so please do not bring any valuables. There will be a limited number of cubicles available for our swim lesson customers (no other sports) but we are sorry, there will be no showers available at the moment. As usual, we are encouraging children to go to the toilet before they arrive at their class to minimise disruption. We will have a limited number of toilets available for emergencies. Full details for all venues can be found HERE.

7. Physical distancing and children

Currently children aged 12 and over still need to maintain physical distancing, including from coaches. Under 12’s do not need to physically distance from each other, but do need to distance from anyone aged 12 or over.

8. Face coverings

Please follow the rules about wearing face coverings. Currently anyone aged 5 years and over is required to wear a face covering until their class.

9. Venue safety guidance and signs

Anyone coming into our venues should follow the centre’s safety guidance and any one way system and sanitise hands before and after their activity.

10. Please don’t visit if you, or anyone in your household, are displaying symptoms of COVID-9.



Booking in and leaving 


How do I know which class to book my child in?  

Class descriptions are on our website. For customers who are new to the programme, have a look at the criteria for each class and book in accordingly. If you’d like to chat through the most appropriate starting point for you/ your child please contact the venue who will be able to advise you and make an assessment as required.

How do I register for a coaching class?

You can see what classes are running where, check availability and even request a space - all online in 3 simple steps:

  1. Our sports classes cover everything from pre-school tinies through to club standard coaching with adult coaching available too. See which class would be right for you first.
  2. Find out where and when your class is on and whether it has spaces using our online timetable. 
  3. You can then check space availability (updated every 4 hours) and complete a simple online 'Booking Request Form' to request a space.
Once we receive your form we'll do a check and get back to you to confirm whether we have a space held for you and what the next steps regarding payment are. Please be aware that your space is guaranteed only when we confirm we have received your Direct Debit instructions.


Our online timetable and form can be found here.


How will I pay for lessons?

Payment for our lessons is by monthly direct debit. On joining, there will be an upfront payment and thereafter payments will be collected on or just after the 1st of each month. There are 11 direct debit collections per year, where no collection is taken in July.  See 'How do I register for a coaching class' above for more information.


What happens if there is no space available?

We offer a wide choice of class times and days in different venues across the city; some of our classes can be very busy. If your preferred centre, day or time of class is full you can consider an alternative day, time or even venue. If this does not suit you please keep checking our online timetable for availability.

How do I cancel my direct debit?

If you decide to stop your lessons, contact the venue or email askus@edinburghleisure.co.uk by the 25th of the month and we will process your cancellation to come into effect for the following month. There are no cancellation fees. Changes made after the 25th of the month to a Direct Debit cannot be guaranteed to take effect by the 1st of the next month.

When are lessons on?

Our coaching dates are made available on the website and the Coaching Home Portal. 

Do you offer classes for children with Additional Support Needs? 

We will always try to integrate participants with additional support needs into a sports coaching programme.  In addition, we offer specific classes and opportunities for both adults and children who would benefit and prefer this opportunity. These sports programmes include boccia, diving, swimming tennis and trampoline. If you/ your child needs support within the class, we will have a discussion with you about what we can put in place to allow your child to take part while ensuring the safety and enjoyment of your child and other participants.  You may be asked to attend the class with your child for a couple of weeks to help them settle in and become familiar with any necessary rules within the class environment.  Each circumstance will be different so please discuss your child’s needs with the team at the venue.  

Our Coaches  

Are your coaches all qualified?  

All our coaches and teachers are fully qualified through the appropriate national sports governing body.  To ensure our coaches continue to deliver the best quality service around, Edinburgh Leisure provides a broad programme of ongoing training and continuous professional development to ensure we are fostering a culture of continuous improvement for our customers. All of our coaches are fully PVG checked for child protection purposes.

Sports Coaching Pathway

How does my child move through the sports coaching pathway?

Each of our sports coaching programmes have several levels that your child will progress through as they become more skilled and competent. You will be able to keep up to date with their progress through the Coaching Home Portal. Once they have completed the skills at their current level and the coach is happy with their progress we’ll notify you that your child is ready to move to the next stage and discuss the various options with you. This could be at any point during the programme and doesn’t necessarily happen at the end of a term. 

We also work closely with sports clubs across Edinburgh and identify children from our programme that would benefit from moving into a club environment. We would then inform you of the relevant contact details for any local clubs that you might want to consider.  

Attending the Class  

Dropping off and picking up children

  • If your child is 9 or over: you must drop off and pick up your child at designated doors (usually either main reception or the Sports Hall fire exit doors).  Our team will be there to help if needed. Please make appropriate arrangements with your child to collect them outside the building.
  • If your child is from 0 – 5 (in a Pre-School class): you must come in with your child and stay with them/participate in class, or wait for them in a designated area in the venue. Follow this link to see see particular guidance on this area for Gym Nippers.
  • If your child is 5 (but at school) – 8: If your child needs help you can come into the venue with them, but must leave the venue whilst your child is in the class and return in time for the end of class to the designated area. 

We understand that there may be some circumstances where you may need to stay and support your child. Please discuss your requirements with the venue if this is the case.

If my child is not well, should they still attend their class?

Please don’t take your child to their class if they aren’t feeling well.  If they have had vomiting or diarrhoea please make sure they have been symptom clear for 48 hours before coming to the pool. Babies frequently get colds, and if it's just the snuffles then it's fine to bring them swimming. If they have a bad cough, temperature or are generally quite miserable with it, then it's probably best to stay at home. If you have any doubts, please check with your doctor first.

Should I feed my child before a lesson?

We advise that you give your child at least an hour to digest food prior to swimming, doing cartwheels or being active in our coaching classes. This will greatly reduce the risk of your child of being unwell during the coached activity.  

What should I do when I arrive at the venue? 

Please arrive no earlier than 5 minutes before the start of your class, or before the time to pick up your child at the end of class. Your child will not be able to join their class if you are more than 5 minutes late.

What if I arrive late for the lesson?

We're sorry but due to the current restrictions your child will not be able to join their class if you are more than 5 minutes late.

Do I need to bring money for a locker?

There are currently no lockers available, please do not take any valuables with you.

What happens if Edinburgh Leisure cancels a coaching class?

If we are unable to deliver a lesson, we will deduct the cost of the lesson from your direct debit payment.  For planned cancellations (events or venue closures), your direct debit will be adjusted for the month the cancelled lesson is due to take place in. For unexpected cancellations, your direct debit payment will be adjusted for the following month.

During the coaching class  

Can I watch my child during the sports class?

There is no spectating allowed under the current guidelines.

Can I take photographs of my child during their class? 

You must not take photos or film children taking part in their class as this is against our Safeguarding Policy. We thank you for your understanding on this issue.

Coaching Home Portal

What is the Coaching Home Portal and why should I sign up?

We’ve listened to our customers who have told us they want feedback on their children’s progress and as a result we have introduced the ‘Coaching Home Portal’. This provides you with unique access to your child’s information about the skills required in any class and your child’s progress. Once all the skills have been completed (and the coach is happy with the progress and readiness for the next stage), you’ll then be able to move to the next level. Your child will be assessed by the coaching team at least three times during a block and their progress will be updated on the home portal.