German coaching courses reaching out to developing world

Andrew Edwards

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

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SINCE 1964 the University of Leipzig, through the German Federal Foreign Office, has been offering International coaching courses through scholarships to developing nation states.


That prior to 2014 only one Jamaican has been able to take advantage of these opportunities is a travesty that must be corrected.


The university offers four specialised areas of postgraduate study for coaches and physical education teachers in two semesters per year, summer — March to July, and winter — September to January.


Each course is administered in one of four languages, French, Spanish, Arabic and English on a rotation basis. The cycle for football in English, which is only offered in the summer semester, has been confirmed every four years.


Criteria for selection is quite simple. Applicants must be 18-40 years old, have completed higher education in sports or have experience as an active athlete and as a physical education teacher or coach, and have good physical and psychological aptitude.


All courses cover the following content: Specialisation (theory and practical); general science of training and movement; sports medicine, sports pedagogy, sports psychology, sports management, strength training and German language.


The programme is financed by the Foreign Office of the Federal Republic of Germany. Each participant gets a monthly grant to help with living expenses for the duration of study.


Participants are responsible for their own travel arrangements to and from Germany; departure itinerary is a requirement if full grant is to be paid after the first installment.


The level and quality of the material in addition to the exposure, capacity for network building and sharing in different experiences are invaluable for the development of our sports. Given what we now know, it is quite plausible for sports associations and government to collaborate to seek enrichment of our sports by increasing our participation in these courses.


For the next three semesters the schedule will be; September 2014 — swimming in English and Artistic Gymnastics in Spanish; March 2015 -- volleyball in English and track and field in Spanish; and September 2015 — judo in English and handball in Spanish. English and Spanish items were shared because these are the two languages in which there is known competence in Jamaica.


Other specialisations in the cycle are sports for disabled, conditioning training, basketball, and table tennis.


Obviously the ranges of interest in these fields are varied, but at least with the knowledge of what is out there interested parties can plan.


Applications are administered through the German Embassy in each country. Further information can be obtained from Embassy websites or www.itk.uni-leipzig.de or www.facebook.com/InternationalerTrainerkurs.

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