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Club Captains in Youth Sport
Start date: Aug 1, 2016, End date: Jul 31, 2018 PROJECT  FINISHED 

The project will identify that sport is as an element of youth work and recognizes the importance of training leaders working with the young people. For those working in sport this project will teach and enhance the skills required to provide support and mentorship to young people developing leadership skills. A Club Captains programme will fulfill a current gap for both youth workers and young people by developing and steering a leadership programme specifically designed for those involved in sport. It will enable young people, as leaders, to communicate and be a representative for their peers, team or club to other groups i.e. their club committee, coaches, other club and facility staff, and regional/national committees. These skill sets would be part of an educational programme specific to leadership in sport. Providing skills for young people in addition to their sporting skills to encourage leadership in their sport environment; skills will be transferable to other areas of their development; including how to lead a team and how to encourage groups of young people to work together within a team; develop decision making skills and the ability to communicate with others in different situations, especially in sporting situations that are often emotionally charged environments, e.g. the competition arena, as well as daily involvement in training. Captains are currently being appointed in aquatic clubs with no uniform procedure, training or support programme - young people are being asked to perform the captain's role with little or no guidance or understanding of the role from sports leaders. Young people do not understand what they are being asked to undertake, nor have the capacity to achieve what is expected. We have identified the lack of consistency regarding the role of a club captain from the work we have done with young people over the last 4-5 years within Swim Ireland in developing the Young People's Strategy ( The young people indicated this is an area they would like guidance on. Collaboration with national safeguarding leads (in other sports federations) has also indicated this is a general challenge within sports. Aquatic disciplines are undertaken on an all-island basis, between Ireland and Northern Ireland (UK), this includes working with our chosen partner organisation. The project elements are:a) Research and investigate existing programmesb) Develop a draft programme for Club Captain in Youth Sport programmec) Develop facilitators manuald) Pilot and run facilitator workshope) Pilot the CCYS programmef) Review all training programmes in collaboration with stakeholdersg) Finalize both training programmesh) Deliver training programmesi) Develop a framework for the CCYS programme to be used in all sportsj) Print resourcesk) Complete final reportThe collaboration between the two organisations will provide a better understanding of how the project will benefit other sports federations and result in a more inclusive adaptable framework for all sports. The partner organisation has access to the Governing bodies of sport in Northern Ireland (UK), this will enable the programme to be tested with other sports for validity. To ensure an all sport framework and a fully informed progrmme from a leadership point of view we would like to work with a number of supportnig organisations, including but not limited to: Sport Ireland, Foroige, NYCI, Gaisce, YMCA, Scouting Ireland, Duke of Edinburgh, Dept of Education, CPSU, Brunel University, Edgehill University, Children's Ombudsman/Commissioner, Community Games, Special Olympics, GAA, Athletics, Irish Boxing Association, Athletics Ireland, IRFU, Paralympics, Swim Ulster.
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