Coaching in the UK

sports coach UK International Briefing March 2015

Mon, 16 Mar 2015

Welcome to the first International Partner update for 2015. This briefing provides an update on some recent developments in sports coaching within the European Union.

EU Conference: Sport and Physical Activity for Development of the Human Capital

The ancient city of Riga in Latvia was the venue for the International Conference Sport and Physical Activity for Development of the Human Capital. Hosted by the Ministry of Education and Science for the Republic of Latvia as part of the Latvian Presidency of the Council of the European Union, this was a one day event that covered a range of areas including policy, mobility, social inclusion and education through sport. The conference provided a platform for EU-wide discussion where stakeholders could shape evidence-based policy, share examples of good practice, update on issues and define new challenges an opportunities in sport.

Key note talks were delivered by the President of the Latvian Sport for All Association, Guntis Macs and Yves Le Lostecque, Head of the Sport Unit of the European Commission.

Presentations that had a strong focus on sports coaching included:

Education and learning through sport – facilitator of personal and social development

  • Serving the interests of marginal groups and the promotion of interculturalism through sport
  • Street sports – a way to integrate and maintain socially cohesive local communities and environment
  • Active City – case study of Liverpool
  • Disabled people on sport: continuing of inclusion
  • More accessible and diversified grassroots sport
  • The role of qualified staff in grassroots sport

The international conference contributed to implementation of the European Work Plan for Sport 2014-17 and was an opportunity for partnership building within the European sports movement.

For anyone wanting further information please get in touch with their named sports coach UK point of contact or email Andy Grant at sports coach UK [email protected]

EU Expert Group in Human Resources Development in Sport

sports coach UK is now a member of the newly-formed EU Expert Group for Human Resources Development in Sport (XGHR). The EU XGHR has three sub-groups: Dual Career, Volunteering and Qualifications. The UK has one representative in each subgroup with the Talented Athlete Scholarship Scheme (TASS) for Dual Career, Sport England for Volunteering and sports coach UK for Qualifications.

On 17 February in Latvia the first full members meeting of the XGHR was held and Qualifications had a prominent role on the agenda. It was outlined from the Group Chair and the attending European Commission Policy Officer that the final output from the sub-group is to produce a document on practical guidance on compliance of national qualifications with international qualification standards of international sport federation.

During the meeting EU Member States provided an update on the situation in their own country of sports qualifications, with coaching qualifications being the predominant one discussed. The examples provided by the members highlighted the vast differences in terms of sports qualifications including the links with national vocational frameworks, involvement of Higher Education Institutes and centralised and decentralised programmes across the EU Member States and was an insight into the challenging work lying ahead for the sub-group.

For anyone wanting further information please get in touch with their named sports coach UK point of contact or email Andy Grant at sports coach UK on [email protected].

sports coach UK represent UK as partner in SCORE project

SCORE (Strengthening Coaching with the Objective to Raise Equality) project, led by ENGSO, had its kick-off meeting in Stockholm on 16-17 February 2015. This is a project that is funded through the EU Erasmus+ Sport Programme. It aims to promote equal opportunities in sport, particularly gender equality in coaching, and focuses on increasing the number of employed and volunteer female coaches at all levels of sport as well as enhancing knowledge on gender equality in coach education. The project is targeted at sports and coaching organisations at all levels, more specifically coaches, trainers, former athletes, volunteers and decision-makers in the field of coaching.

First day of the kick-off meeting allowed for the members from the various organisations to get to know each other, as well as to some administrative issues. The second day focused on the development of the toolkit awareness pack, which would be developed during the course of the project. The toolkit will contain tools targeted at both the sports organisations and coaches. The session was led by Gender Equality experts, Sarah Milner and Julie Mackintosh, from sports coach UK.

Another main element of the project is the development of an education programme for mentors, which will be implemented during the project. After going through the education programme, the mentors will assist potential female coaches in their respective countries in developing the mentees' professional and personal growth. Discussions on the education for mentors were facilitated by Satu Kaski, an expert psychologist, who and has been involved in mentoring projects in coaching in Finland.

The SCORE project will be a two-year project and will be finalised by the end of 2016. It boasts a comprehensive partner network including the following organisations:

  • sports coach UK
  • Finnish Coaches Association
  • International Council of Coaching Excellence (ICCE)
  • European Observatoire of Sport and Employment (EOSE)
  • Sport and Citizenship
  • European University Sports Association (EUSA)
  • German Olympic Sports Confederation (DOSB)
  • Swedish Sports Confederation (RF)
  • National Olympic Committee of Croatia (NOC Croatia)
  • Lithuanian Union of Sports Federations (LUSF)
  • Cyprus Sports Organisation (CSO)
  • Portuguese Sports Confederation (CDP)

Future International Briefings will feature regular updates on the SCORE project.

UK partner involved in CoachLearn Project

Following a successful bid in a 2014 round of Erasmus+ applications, Leeds Beckett University (LBU) have secured European funding to conduct a project named CoachLearn: Enhancing sport coaches' learning, mobility and employment within the context of a European Sport Coaching Framework. The project takes place between September 2014 and August 2017.

CoachLearn brings together a consortium of six organisations led by LBU and the International Council for Coaching Excellence (ICCE), which includes the Netherlands Olympic Committee (NOC*NSF), the Hungarian Coaching Association, Trainerakademie in Germany and HAAGA-HELIA University in Finland.

The main purpose of the project is to develop a European Sport Coaching Framework (ESCF). The Framework will provide ideas and tools for European partners to develop their own world leading sport coaching system. The project will involve research and development work across Europe exploring existing good practice in coach development, education and change management.

sports coach UK will be providing regular updates from the CoachLearn project and will be communicating the final recommendations in due course.

Sergio Lara-Bercial, CoachLearn project manager based at LBU and the ICCE, can be contacted by email for further information [email protected]

The Erasmus + Programme

The European Union consolidated seven of its funding pots into a single integrated programme called Erasmus+.  This should make it clearer on how to access European Funds to support a range of programmes.

As a result Erasmus+ offers a range of opportunities for UK organisations to access funding for education, training, youth and sport activities.

Further information can be found at UK Erasmus+.


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