Sports coaching research presented in Estonia
The focus of the conference, which took place in Tallinn last week, was the changing role of the coach in 21st Century society.
Estonia, a country renowned for producing a great sporting talent from a very small pool is holding the Presidency of the European Council from July to December 2017 and the sporting priority chosen by Estonia Minister of Culture, Mr Indrek Saar, is the recognition and adequate preparation of the sport coach. Estonia has recently adopted a sport act which regulates the coaching profession and has created a qualifications system and coaching register to support the development of coaches.
Speaking at the conference, Minister Saar said: “The social role of coaches is even greater than their sport-specific role by teaching values and skills for life.”
A similar message was shared by Deputy Director General of the European Commission, Mr Jens Nymand-Christensen, who stressed that the role that ProjectCoachLearn, which is led by Leeds Beckett and ICCE, has in showing the way for those developing coaching and coaching systems.
Carnegie School of Sport and ICCE Senior Research Fellow, Sergio Lara-Bercial, delivered two keynote speeches. In the first, he spoke exclusively to the Meeting of Sport Director Generals from the 28 EU member countries about the changing role of coaches in 21st century society. He introduced them to the European Sport Coaching Framework (ESCF) and underlined the need to provide coaches with the right knowledge, skills and attitudes to fulfil the over more complex role and the needs of the 100 million European citizens receiving coaching from nine million coaches across the union.
In his second keynote speech, Sergio discussed his research into Olympic Serial Winning Coaches with Allar Raja, Estonian Bronze medallist in Rio.
The conference marked an historic moment for coaching in Europe and further developments and collaborations between the Estonian Presidency, the European Commission, ICCE and Leeds Beckett are expected.