iCoachKids: Innovative Education & Training for a Specialist Children & Youth Coaching Workforce.

iCoachKids Gets Off the Blocks

Leeds Beckett University and the International Council for Coaching Excellence lead an innovative multinational project to prioritise and facilitate the education and recognition of children’s coaches across Europe

Following a successful bid to the May 2016 round of Erasmus+ applications, Leeds Beckett University (LBU) and the International Council for Coaching Excellence (ICCE) have secured significant European funding for an exciting new project entitled ‘iCoachKids: Innovative Education & Training for a Specialist Children & Youth Coaching Workforce’. The project will take place between September 2016 and August 2019.

The first meeting of the project management group took place at Leeds Beckett University on 27th and 28th September 2016, with a wealth of expertise and input from the project partner representatives. 

iCoachKids is a partnership of eight organisations – each of them experts in the field of youth sport and coach education - led by LBU and ICCE, including the Netherlands Olympic Committee (NOC*NSF), the Hungarian Coaching Association, Sport Ireland, Lithuanian Sports University, Universidad Europea de Madrid and the Royal Belgian Football Association. 

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 will use a learner-centred, collaborative approach which maximizes the most advanced techniques of open-source e-learning in the shape of 3 newly developed Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) and an interactive online platform.  

iCoachKids will provide tools to facilitate the creation of effective partnerships between social partners, companies and VET providers to provide more work-based education and training opportunities for coaches of children. 

Project Leader, LBU’s Senior Research Fellow Sergio Lara-Bercial says: "This project has been on our minds for a number of years. We are absolutely delighted to have secured Erasmus+ funding to make it a reality. 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. iCoachKids will change that." 

For more information on project iCoachKids please contact Sergio Lara-Bercial on s.lara-bercial@leedsbeckett.ac.uk