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Basketball Apprentices in Europe
Start date: 01 Jul 2016, End date: 30 Jun 2017 PROJECT  FINISHED 

CONTEXTJohn Madejski Academy (JMA) is an academy in Reading, Berkshire which provides high quality education for approximately 1100 students aged 11 to 19. In 2008, JMA (via the JMA Basketball Academy) became one of the first institutions in the UK to deliver the Advanced Apprenticeship in Sporting Excellence (AASE) framework on behalf of Basketball England. AASE is a unique sporting vocational qualification for young people who have the realistic potential to achieve excellence in their sport by competing on the world stage or securing a professional contract. OBJECTIVESThe primary aim of this project is to further enhance and improve the vocational training and development of Apprentices at the JMA Basketball Academy. Working with Baloncesto Málaga, S.A.D. (Unicaja) in Spain, the project will also aim to provide greater exit and progression opportunities for students upon completion of the Basketball Academy programme. The project will have 3 overarching strategic objectives: 1) Facilitating the transfer of European training methods, development environments, techniques and philosophies into both the JMA Basketball Academy programme and students.2) Exposing the students to the European opportunities in both sport and other careers so these can be explored and more readily understood, accepted and pursued in the future.3) Embedding lifelong learning principles into the training and development programme and working cultures in order to equip students with the aptitude and skills to pursue employment, either within sport or outside of it, throughout their career.NUMBER AND PROFILE OF PARTICIPANTSParticipants will be the 20 (male and female) Apprentices undertaking JMA Basketball Academy programme in the 2016/17 academic year (ie the 2015 and 2016 cohorts). These Apprentices are selected primarily on the basis of their basketball ability and therefore incorporate a wide range of academic abilities, socioeconomic circumstances and ethnic backgrounds.PROJECT ACTIVITIESThe majority of the project activities will take place at Unicaja, including:- Regular training sessions to address the defined sports performance targets. - Games versus high quality Spanish youth teams.- Daily feedback and evaluation sessions to confirm goal setting/reflection.Unicaja has outstanding links at a local, regional and national level which will enable JMA to enhance the activities of participants. For example:- Access to high quality local and regional basketball clubs with activities to include training sessions and games at world class training facilities.- A visit to the Basketball Federation of Andalusia to undertake work shadowing, observe the professional practices and explore exit pathways.- Observation of live Liga ABC Basketball games. METHODOLGYJMA will use the principles of the European Quality Charter for Mobility to set goals and define tasks for the key elements of the project:1) INFORMATION AND GUIDANCE: production of clear and accessible resources.2) LEARNING PLAN: clearly defining the project objectives and the role of each partner in achieving them.3) PERSONALISATION: pre-visit assessment of participants' desired learning outcomes.4) PREPARATION: a structured preparation programme tailored to individual needs.5) LANGUAGE: provision of formal and informal language training.6) LOGISTICS: a formal contract to be signed by both parties outlining practical and logistical responsibilities.7) MENTORING: provision of suitably qualified staff to facilitate achievement of individual goals and ensure integration.8) RECOGNITION: delivery of formal instruments to recognise individual learning outcomes.9) EVALUATION: comprehensive and objective evaluation of all aspects of the project.10) RESPONSIBILITIES: agreement by all parties on their roles and responsibilities in the successful delivery of the project, formalised in writing via a Memorandum of Understanding and individual participant Learning Plans. IMPACTSThe impacts on participants are expected to include:- Achievement of recognised qualifications (e.g. BTEC L1 Work Skills). - Development of life skills and experience that can be utilised throughout participants' education and careers.- Enhanced cultural and linguistic skills, facilitating openness to new opportunities both in the UK and Europe.- Improved knowledge and understanding of the European opportunities in sport and other careers.The impacts on JMA are expected to include:- Enhancement of the Basketball Academy programme both in terms of improved technical sporting quality of students and coaches, and also student achievement rates. - Implementation of best practice across the Basketball Academy programme and also the wider Sports Academy.
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