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

Leeds Beckett University and Sport Northern Ireland collaborate to spread the iCoachKids project message internationally

Sport Northern Ireland, the leading public body for the development of sport in Northern Ireland, and project iCoachKids have signed a memorandum of understanding to collaborate in the global promotion of this Erasmus+ project aiming to create a specialist children and youth sport coaching workforce across the European Union.

Sport Northern Ireland is committed to increasing the number of people adopting and sustaining a sporting lifestyle and to enabling more people to reach their sporting goals.  A child’s start in sport is vitally important to their continued involvement.  As such Sport Northern Ireland has been engaged over a sustained period of time in creating learning opportunities specifically for coaches of children, including a range of conferences and seminars specifically themed around coaching children, providing access for local coaches to world leaders in the field.  This has promoted key messages in relation to quality children’s coaching practice, as well as much needed recognition of children’s coaching as a key domain within the participant pathway.  The iCoachKids Project has clear parallels with much of this work, particularly in relation to increasing and sustaining participation and the development of an active and skills children’s coaching workforce.

iCoachKids Project Coordinator Sergio Lara-Bercial is excited to have Sport Northern Ireland on board to the ever-growing list of collaborators for this Erasmus+ initiative:

Sport Northern Ireland have pioneered the differentiated approach to the education of coaches working with children for many years. iCK is very pleased to be able to count SNI as a project supporter. This new agreement brings fantastic expertise and additional resources to continue the work of iCK. Thank you to Alan Curran, Simon Toole and David Smith for all their work in this area”.

Simon Toole, Coaching Consultant; and Alan Curran, Performance Systems Manager at Sport Northern Ireland have been key players in orchestrating the collaboration.  Simon commented:

“We are delighted to join together with the various iCoachKids partner organisations in the spirit of collaboration to drive forward the development of children’s sport, children’s coach development; as well as increasing the prominence and recognition given to those who coach children”. 

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.