Working Group is dedicated to creating an educational module for new methods of work of sports coaches with children and youth within the project “Standing Together for a Healthy and Safe Community” through a series of online and live meetings. Experts from three sectors – youth, education and sports, from different countries and different fields, have committed to contribute to the revitalization of the educational and pedagogical role of coaches through this particular module, by offering them new tools for work and learning of young people through sports and play, but also by drawing their attention to certain life topics that could be brought closer to attendees through sports.
How to build self-confidence for a child/young person, awaken and strengthen his/her team spirit, point out the importance of values such as tolerance, culture of coexistence, understanding, solidarity and fair play, which should ultimately lead to better regional cooperation and action on the global level too; how to recognize and react to negative phenomena in sports, and then apply the same positive pattern of behavior in everyday life; how to use sport to promote democratic values and principles – essentially, how to put sport back in the service of development of an individual and society in general, these are just some of the questions that the future module should answer to.
Experts from various fields – university professors, pedagogues and psychologists, sports journalists and communication experts, experts in the field of sports law, youth workers, began work on the development of the educational module with the division of responsibilities and detailed situational analysis. Participation of representatives of different countries, who selflessly share their own national experiences and thus contribute the best way possible to the exchange of examples of good practice from the environments they come from, represent an “added value” and provide additional quality to the future module.
“It is a great honor for us that members of the Working Group recognized the importance of their own participation in it and want to contribute to a common vision – renewing the role of coaches as educators and pedagogues in sports, opposed to everything that the commercialization of sports has brought,” said project coordinator Aleksandra Knežević.
Common intention of members of the Working Group is to develop something usable and practical, primarily on the basis of previous studies, but also concrete conclusions and suggestions collected during a consultative meeting with coaches from six football clubs involved.
Process of development of the module lasts for three months, after which training will be organized for football coaches in order to introduce them to created work program and further usage of the same in contact with children and youth through sports. In order to adequately pilot the mentioned module and examine the interest and reactions of children and youth to it, project coordinator provided additional support for the implementation of regional youth camps for youth from five countries involved.
Based on the feedback from camps, the Working Group will continue further work on improving the module before drafting the final version, which will be presented at the final meeting on the project “Standing Together for a Healthy and Safe Community”, planned for November 2021.
Project “Standing Together for a Healthy and Safe Community” is implemented through the ERASMUS+ program in the field of sports. Coordinator is Development Center for Youth from Belgrade, and the consortium gathers partners from youth, education and sports from Serbia, North Macedonia, Croatia, Slovenia, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Turkey.