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Youth sport coaching programme launched in America

A successful European programme providing innovative approaches to education for youth sport coaches – led by Leeds Beckett University and the International Council for Coaching Excellence – is now being launched in the United States.

Dr Sergio Lara-Bercial

The iCoachKids programme – which provides resources and materials to support youth coaches all over the world through their website and YouTube channel - has signed an official partnership with the United States Center for Coaching Excellence (USCCE).

Dr Sergio Lara-Bercial, iCoachKids project leader and Reader in Sport Coaching at Leeds Beckett University, said: “We have said all along that the final aim of iCoachKids was to create a global movement fully dedicated to supporting all those amazing people that stand in front of a bunch of kids every day to provide engaging and meaningful experiences that will build a lifelong relationship with sport and physical activity.

“It doesn’t get better than the USCCE to help us build the movement. Their membership, experience and total commitment to the cause is going to accelerate iCoachKids development ten-fold.”

The USCCE was founded in 2016 and brings together coaching education leaders from national sports governing bodies, multi-sport organisations, for-profit and non-profit programmes, and colleges and universities, to share strategies, network and enrich sport.

Dr. Kristen Dieffenbach, USCCE President and Associate Professor at West Virginia University, said: “Coaching matters - coaches matters and in youth sports the vast majority are volunteers who want to give kids the best experience they can. iCoachKids proves a fantastic resource that goes beyond content to provide coaches with real, research backed, practical skills and knowledge to help coaches enhance the development of children through sport.  The USCCE is excited to support iCoachKids and to work together towards this important common goal.”

In December last year, iCoachKids launched a new series of free online courses to develop youth sport coaches. More than 900 coaches from all over the world have already signed up to the first course - ‘Developing Effective Environments for Children in Sport’.

The courses - available on YouTube and through the iCoachKids website – aim to support and guarantee access to high quality coach education for all youth sport coaches across the world.

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.

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