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Education in Sport for Apprentice Footballers
Start date: Jan 1, 2015, End date: Dec 31, 2015 PROJECT  FINISHED 

This project will address key Erasmus+ priorities by targeting and benefiting 30 participants who are at significant disadvantage in the labour market. Among them, 5 will be selected from those students classed as having special educational needs. This Erasmus+ project will focus on providing European Mobility experiences for our 30 young apprentices in the 16-20 age group who will travel to Austria in July 2015. The Austrian National Sport Centre Obertraun, hosting partner, is a regional training and coaching complex used by top European professional clubs and National Teams (Chelsea FC, Everton FC, Red Bull Salzburg). Innovations in physiological development, dietetics, coaching delivery, tactical analysis and cardiovascular training will be studied and used to improve skills acquisition and player development. Furthermore, they will participate in learning sessions on communicative language classes, dual career opportunities, EU values and on the EURES mobility network. In view of the differing restrictions imposed by the varying scholastic commitments of the players as they progress through their BTEC 3 – Diploma in Sport, plus their commitment to competitive match fixtures it was agreed by all of the partners that a two weeks mobility period would provide maximum benefit from a European mobility experience, while imposing minimum disruption to academic and vocational training courses. Mobility will be preceded by a structured preparatory phase involving their Further Education Colleges and families, facilitating optimal absorption of the vocational training and skills development at the host institution during the two weeks mobility period abroad. Our Austrian host partner is applauded as having world class records in talent identification, innovative coaching and player development. Innovations in physiological development, dietetics, coaching delivery, tactical analysis and cardiovascular training will be studied and used to improve skills acquisition and players development. Improved success rates for apprentices in being admitted to the first team ranks are anticipated, while improved academic attainment and European work experience will improve employability in secondary careers for those not fortunate enough to make the professional grade. Consequently this project will prioritise the following specific objectives: 1. Improved physiological development of participants via the implementation of innovative training regimes; 2. Skills and technology transfer between the Academy mobility apprentices and staff and the local staff in Europe; 3. Improved employment rates for mobility participants in professional football careers and in dual careers pathways; 4. Improved linguistic skills for participants and a full awareness of the cultural diversity within another European country; 5. Enhanced intercultural awareness; 6. Increased maturity, self-empowerment, self-esteem and sense of initiative; 7. More active participation in work and social environments (Active citizenship); 8. Enhancement of soft skills; 9. Increased motivation both on and off the field. Our Austrian partner is fully committed to this Erasmus+ project, having successfully hosted participants in recent years from a variety of European countries under the previous Lifelong Learning Programme – Leonardo da Vinci funding scheme. Young people in the UK are, in the main, rather parochial in nature and exhibit a reluctance to undertake occupational mobility. This is particularly so with young people who have poor records of academic achievement or are socially disadvantaged. At present, less than 1% of persons under the age of 21 and not enrolled in an Academic course in the UK will undertake a work-related mobility placement. This project will directly address this national shortcoming and will contribute to the Europe 2020 Strategy. Chelsea FC’s dissemination activities will be complemented by Obertraun, who will actively participate in the dissemination processes prior, during and after mobility by issuing press releases to local media throughout the mobility. Indeed, football clubs are fairly unique entities in the access to the media and this will prove an excellent dissemination vehicle to encourage other young people to seek out mobility opportunities. Furthermore both partner have agreed to contribute to sectorial studies and researches that may be implemented in the following years.
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