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Enhancing the Employability of Scottish Rugby Coaches Through European Mobility
Start date: Jun 1, 2015, End date: May 31, 2016 PROJECT  FINISHED 

The Scottish Rugby Union (SRU) is the governing body for rugby in Scotland. The Association is responsible for developing, promoting and fostering international and domestic rugby within Scotland. Our aims have always remained true to developing and promoting rugby for all in Scotland. Coach education is one of the most important duties of the SRU. Improvement of coaching skills through European interaction and exchange of innovation, coupled with enhanced employability for all mobility participants is central to this Erasmus+ application under Key Action 1. Sport represents a large and fast-growing sector of the economy and makes an important contribution to growth and jobs, with value added and employment effects exceeding average growth rates. Around 2% of global GDP is generated by the sport sector.7 Major sport events and competitions provide strong potential for increased development of tourism in Europe. Sport is thus a contributor to the Europe 2020 strategy. This Erasmus+ application is a relatively large project and will involve mobility for 76 coaching staff who are involved in VET delivery at various levels within the industry, ranging from UKCC level 1 to 3. Participants will be drawn from four categories of VET delivery: 1. Coaches employed by the SRU member clubs or within the Performance Department or the regional Academies. These VET staff are employed on a full-time basis at a variety of levels, from schools rugby to elite youth development coaching. Mobility will enhance personal skills via exposure to innovative EU coaching skills in France. 2. Female coaches involved in women’s rugby who are actively involved in the promotion of female participation in Scottish rugby and developing young elite girls and women in the sport who will travel to Spain. The specific objectives are summarised below: 1. To provide participants with access to a European centre of excellence and to allow them to acquire the skills involved in the theory, practice and delivery of the most advanced coaching technologies and processes available in Europe. 2. To enhance employability of all participants through the acquisition of additional soft skills, coaching competences and qualifications as a direct result of undertaking European mobility. 3. To improve career progression for mobility participants as a direct result of the innovative skills and competences acquired during the mobility. 4. To monitor career progression among mobility participants and compare the data with statistics obtained from coaching personnel who have not participated in European mobility. 5. To improve the skills and knowledge base of coaches in Women’s rugby and increase participation and retention rates to levels comparable with European countries such as Spain. The tangible outcomes will alow the community, grassroots and professional club participant coaches to establish clear pathways for career progression through the enhanced programmes for player development which will be implemented as a result of mobility. European innovations and methods will be introduced to provide more transparent links between Scottish Regional Academies, professional senior clubs and community & grassroots coaches. This area of talent development is where our more successful European partner nations have a greater comparative competitive edge over Scotland. In short, this mobility project will allow the mobility participants to work with the SRU in establishing a more robust “National Talent Development Audit” involving community and grassroots clubs, the regional academies and the professional clubs and other key institutions in the youth development process. One of the key aspirations of this project is to use the mobility work placements to bring together ideas and innovation, to identify and develop elite players and improve talent development within Scotland through a clear and identifiable route through the schools, community and grassroots coaching frameworks. Study and assessment of European methods of measuring performance levels, and the treatment and development of talented players before the age of 16 will be crucial. This is leading to a new mind set within the highest levels of the game, which accepts and endorses this approach. Work programmes for women’s rugby coaches will place a strong emphasis on studying how young talented female players are identified at the earliest opportunity and how that talent is supported and sustained through the community and grassroots infrastructure in the European partner countries. These studies will be crucial to the employability of the participant coaches but will also be pivotal in increasing participation rates in women’s rugby in Scotland. These mobility outcomes will have a significant impact on the restructuring of the SRU regional talent identification programmes in women’s rugby. As such mobility will have a major impact in these sectors on a local, regional and national basis.
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