Dr Ladislav Petrovic and Dr Sergio Lara-Bercial with Mr Yves LeLostecque and Ms Agata Dziarnowska from the Sport Unit of the European Commission

The central role of the coach in 21st Century society has been highlighted in the EU Plan for Sport 2017-2020 and the EU Council Conclusions of November 2017 led by the Estonian Presidency. Within this context, the Human Resources in Sport Expert Group has been set up to, over the next three years, explore the most relevant topics in this field and produce recommendations for the Member States. In this landscape, the education and development of coaches is a priority area.

Against this background, the Expert Group descended upon the beautiful seaside city of Split in Croatia for two days of presentations and debate focused around the figure of the coach. iCoachKids (iCK), the FREE online learning platform for children and youth coaches led by Leeds Beckett University and the International Council for Coaching Excellence featured as a significant example of the need to develop high quality educational resources for those working in grassroots sport and, most importantly, to make those resources accessible and targeted to the needs and demands of a mostly volunteer workforce.

Dr Sergio Lara-Bercial, Project Director for iCK based at Leeds Beckett University explains the nature of the educational programme: “The iCK suite of resources is specifically designed to support volunteer coaches who may or may have not completed yet any formal coach education and who may not have a lot of time in their hands or the finances to afford traditional courses. And coaches can complete the courses on their own or as part of a group led by whatever organisation they belong too. There is a solution for every coach!”

Dr Ladislav Petrovic, ICCE Secretary General, was full of praise for the work of the Sport Unit of the European Commission: “The support of the Commission has been invaluable for iCK. The work done by Yves Le Lostecque and Agata Dziarnowska in promoting the role of the coach in society and creating the necessary structures to enhance the recognition and education of coaches has been vital. To be able to present iCK to all Member States has been a fantastic opportunity to increase the impact of the programme”

The next step for iCK is the 2nd iCoachKid International Conference in Leeds 5th and 6th September 2018. For more information and to book click here

iCoachKids is co-funded by an Erasmus+ grant and led by Leeds Beckett University (LBU) and the International Council for Coaching Excellence (ICCE). It brings together another six world-class organisations with a common desire to support children and youth coaches and a proven track record of doing so. These include Sport Ireland Coaching, the Hungarian Coaches Association, the Netherlands Olympic Committee, the European University of Madrid, Lithuanian Sport University, and the Royal Belgian Football Association.

European
Coaching Council

The ECC is a formally established continental body for Europe of the International Council for Coaching Excellence.