European Mobility as a Springboard for Apprentice ..
European Mobility as a Springboard for Apprentice Sporting Success
Start date: Jun 1, 2015,
End date: May 31, 2017
This project will allow a group of 30 Hearts FC apprentices (aged from 16 to 19 years of age) to gain experience of the training methods at an acknowledged (UEFA) Centre of Excellence in Spain. The Spanish host partner is a regional training and coaching complex used by Spanish and European professional teams which are 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 player development. Improved success rates for apprentices in being offered professional player contracts are anticipated, while improved academic attainment and European exposure will improve employability in secondary careers.
Consequently this project will prioritise the following specific objectives:
1. Improved physiological development of participants via the implementation of innovative training regimes as a direct result of structured Erasmus+ mobility programme.
2. Skills and technology transfer between the Academy mobility apprentices and players in Europe.
3. Improved employment rates for mobility participants in professional football careers.
4. Improved linguistic skills for participants and an awareness of the cultural diversity within another European country.
5. Increased maturity, initiative, self-empowerment and self-esteem.
6. Enhanced intercultural awareness.
7. More active participation in work and social environments.
8. Enhancement of soft skills.
9. Increased motivation both on and off the field.
Our host partner, Olivanova, was chosen on the basis of them being an acknowledged European Centre of Excellence which had the infrastructure, staff and ethos to support the Hearts FC mobility objectives. Secondly, our Spanish host partner has a clear track record in Leonardo da Vinci and Erasmus+ hosting and can demonstrate clear evidence of a mobility support structure for prospective participants.
The duration of the mobility has been set at two weeks following discussions with coaching staff at the Hearts FC Academy and the Spanish clubs hosting the mobility participants. The opportunity of skills advancement and enhanced performance through European mobility is a fantastic motivator for our apprentices.
All of the mobility participants will be apprentices employed by Hearts FC under the Scottish Modern Apprenticeship in Sporting Excellence framework which is a work based learning programme combining training and playing experiences with study for academic qualifications. The main aim of the MA programme is to prepare the apprentice for life as a professional player but also to provide additional qualifications so that a smooth transfer onto a second career pathway can be made if necessary i.e. professional contract is not forthcoming or a serious injury occurs.
The ultimate evaluation of success will be an increase in employability of participants achieving success as a professional footballer or gaining employment in a secondary career pathway. These are medium/long term surveys, which will be undertaken by Hearts FC following completion of mobility. Contact will be maintained with participants on completion of their apprenticeship and employment status, job description, salary levels and contract status (permanent or fixed term) will be recorded and will be used in the dissemination process. The data collected will be disseminated freely.
Aside from our own internal evaluation processes, Hearts FC will participate in a Sector Skills Alliance (SSA) involving other UK professional football clubs who are participating in Erasmus+ VET Learner mobility. This SSA will seek to improve the content and delivery of vocational training programmes and training methodologies in the UK by sharing European best practice and incorporating these initiatives within the vocational education framework.
Key project objectives involve the enhanced acquisition of key coaching innovations which will result in improved player performance and enhanced skills levels for the participant during mobility. The ultimate evaluation of success will be an increase in employability of participants achieving success as a professional footballer or gaining employment in a secondary career pathway. These are medium/long term surveys, which will be undertaken by Hearts FC on an ongoing basis following completion of mobility
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