The ninth UEFA Workshop for Coach Education in Prague, which begins on Wednesday, continues UEFA's drive to help nurture coaching activities throughout its 53 national associations.
Coach education directors and technical directors from the European national associations will be joined by renowned coach education experts, representatives of the UEFA Development and Technical Assistance Committee and the world football body FIFA for an extensive examination of developments in coach education – a crucial element in raising overall football standards.
"The aim of this workshop in the Czech Republic is to provide the latest information on coach education in Europe, identify best practices and consider future developments in the coaching profession," says UEFA General Secretary Gianni Infantino in his welcome message to the workshop participants.
"At the end of 2010, the launch of the new [UEFA Convention on the Mutual Recognition of Coaching Qualifications directives] marked another milestone in UEFA's continuous efforts to further improve the game through coach education. The document is based on coach education experience of more than a decade under the umbrella of the Coaching Convention. Such guidelines are an important basis but the high-quality implementation of your respective national coach education programmes is crucial," Mr Infantino explained to the national associations.
"I take this opportunity to assure you that UEFA is listening to you and analysing your specific educational needs regularly. UEFA endeavours to give you appropriate support technically, financially and politically."
The workshop agenda features a presentation on UEFA's coach education programme by UEFA technical director Andy Roxburgh, and a review the recent UEFA Elite Club Coaches Forum in Nyon as well as UEFA's innovative coach education student exchange project. The latter is aimed at giving UEFA Pro licence students opportunities for international knowledge exchange, as well as direct access to UEFA tutors and content as part of their education. The first pilot courses have taken place.
Hosts the Football Association of the Czech Republic (ČMFS) will be joined by other national associations in highlighting their coach education activities. Attention will be given to specialist training areas – goalkeepers, fitness and futsal. General educational trends will be addressed in interactive sessions and the discussion group will also be significant for the outcome of the workshop.
Coach education is one of the key elements within the UEFA Study Group Scheme, whereby associations exchange technical know-how for the benefit of the game. "The UEFA Study Group Scheme is a prime example of a pan-European educational programme that feeds into and supports the existing UEFA Coaching Programme," said Mr Infantino. "Courses for goalkeeper coaches have been initiated in a pilot project and the coach education student exchange was piloted last season and will begin in earnest in season 2011/12."
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