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Improvement in Club & Community Coaching via European Mobility
Start date: Jun 1, 2015, End date: May 31, 2017 PROJECT  FINISHED 

Previous participation over the past four years in the Leonardo da Vinci mobility programme (VETPRO & IVT) has resulted in Queen's Park FC making a commitment to upskill or elite academy coaches and increase the numbers of community and grassroots coaches employed by the club. The 22 participants in this VET staff mobility project will all be VET professionals who are employed by Queen’s Park FC on a full-time or part-time basis at a variety of levels, from community & grassroots outreach football to elite youth development to first team coaching. Mobility will enhance personal and professional skills via exposure to innovative Spanish coaching practices which have been proven to enhance player performance and development. Football coaches working within the Scottish Professional Football League clubs work within a competitive, results-driven labour market with unemployment rates above the national average; 29% of coaches are unemployed at any given moment. Surveys of employers have shown that skills levels for many Scottish coaches now fail to meet current expectations. This has resulted in many positions being filled by more skilled coaches from outwith the UK. This project will allow our VET coaching staff to undertake mobility to Spain which will allow them to acquire state-of-the-art, innovative skills which will increase the quality of our club coaching. Our Spanish host partner has been involved as a host partner in more or more of the Lifelong Learning Programme strands and have an established track record of excellence in relation to hosting and integrating participants within the work place. Queen’s Park FC has previously sent IVT and VETPRO participants to Olivanova over the past three years and we have experienced, at first hand, their strong commitment to European co-operation. Olivanova was also selected on the basis of them being an internationally recognised Centre of Excellence and their natural fit with the project objectives. Spanish clubs in the Valencia region are world leaders in the development of young male and female players through their early identification in the grassroots leagues and progression through the club academy structures into full-time professional status. The strong emphasis on community involvement has been shown to enhance player retention rates and development profiles for both male and female players. The Spanish clubs were selected on the basis of innovative coaching methods that enhance player performance and development, community network innovations and enhanced coaching competences that would be provided to the Queen’s Park mobility participants. The specific objectives are summarised below: 1. To introduce participants to the coaching qualifications ladder, providing them with a career path and a recognised beginners coaching qualification to keep them in the game and to offer them employability within sport for the future. Often coaches come from socially deprived areas and have limited interest in academic education and so this European mobility would upskill them, providing bespoke vocational education and training in an area of particular interest to them. 2. Become role models for other participants at Queen’s Park FC, bringing back new ideas and enthusiasm to support grassroots football at the community based club, benefiting from the health and wellbeing aspect of participation in sport. 3. To have a long lasting effect on participants. This mobility may very well be the first time a number of participants have travelled abroad and introducing them to good coaching practices within Europe would significantly enhance their learning experience. 4. To broaden social development of participants through interaction by meeting new people. The mobility will improve personal development and social awareness for participants. Interpersonal skills will be developed through group discussion, debate and presentations. 5. To enhance employability resulting from the mobility after which the participants will either complete a beginners coaching qualification recognised by the Scottish FA or gain recognition towards revalidation of their current coaching qualification. 6. To enhance the employability of participants through the acquisition of additional skills and qualifications as a direct result of mobility. 7. To enhance security of tenure and improve career progression for participants. 8. To monitor future employment rates among participants. The longer term impact of the project will be assessed by following up participants further on in their career at three and five years after mobility and the data compared with peers who have not undertaken mobility.
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