The interactive iCoachKids online platform has gone live. The site contains a vast number of resources and materials to help coaches plan and deliver great sessions and programmes.
The main objective of the iCoachKids project is to tackle the lack of existing opportunities for coaches of children to be suitably trained and recognized across Europe. The project will overturn this situation through the development of open and innovative education and training resources and opportunities for youth coaches.
iCoachKids is a three-year Erasmus+ co-funded project (2016-2019) which brings together eight organisations with expertise in the field of youth sport and coach education. Led by Leeds Beckett University and the International Council for Coaching Excellence, other partners include the Netherlands Olympic Committee (NOC*NSF), the Hungarian Coaching Association, Sport Ireland, Lithuanian Sports University (LSU), Universidad Europea de Madrid and the Royal Belgian Football Association.
The iCoachKids website, a repository of both existing and newly developed resources and materials from all over the world aimed at youth coaches, is the first to cover the whole breadth of areas related to coaching youth sport. It contains different sections spanning a broad range of topics such as child development, motivation, planning, talent development, safeguarding and child protection or how children learn. It even has a section for parents and clubs so everyone can be on the same page when it comes to youth sport.
iCoachKids boasts a large number of international expert contributors such as Vern Gambetta (USA), Paul Gamble (UK), Chema Buceta (Spain), Leanne Norman (UK), Kris Van der Haegen (Belgium) and many more making it a ‘cutting-edge’ source of information and advice for budding and expert coaches alike.
Coaches and parents from all over the European Union and beyond can also interact with each other and the contributors using the discussion forums built into the site.
The icing-on-the-cake for iCoachKids will be the creation of 3 newly developed Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) from the summer of 2018 onwards. These courses will conform with European educational regulations and be accessible FREE of charge to anyone who wants to learn more about coaching children. Colleges, universities and federations will be free to adopt and adapt them as part of their regular offer to coaches at no cost to them or their coaches!
Project Leader, LBU’s Senior Research Fellow Sergio Lara-Bercial said: "The launch of the website is a huge step for iCoachKids. It puts the project on the map. Coaches of children represent over 80% of the coaching workforce across Europe, yet they lack sufficient opportunities to gain specialist knowledge to fulfil their very important role. The iCoachKids webiste will change that."
ICCE President, John Bales said: "iCoachKids fills a void that has been empty for too long. Thanks to iCK coaches all over the EU and beyond can have access to free, up-to-date, practical and engaging information and tips to develop their coaching to new heights"
For more information or if you want to collaborate or become a project supporter for iCoachKids please contact Project Leader Sergio Lara-Bercial on firstname.lastname@example.org