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The role of coaches in society as the teachers of values and skills requires more support and recognition

17. July 2017 - 14:57
Konverentsil esinenud Islandi sotsioloog Thorolfur Thorlindsson ja inglise jalgpallimänedžer Roy Hodgson, nende vahel Kultuuriministeeriumi spordi asekantsler Tarvi Pürn. Foto: Kultuuriministeerium/Kadri Purje
Konverentsil esinenud Islandi sotsioloog Thorolfur Thorlindsson ja inglise jalgpallimänedžer Roy Hodgson, nende vahel Kultuuriministeeriumi spordi asekantsler Tarvi Pürn. Foto: Kultuuriministeerum/Kadri Purje

At the two-day conference, entitled "The Role of Sport Coaches in Society. Adding Value to People’s Lives", which concluded in Tallinn on Friday, European Union’s policymakers and sport organisation representatives discussed the broader impact of coaches’ activities in today’s society as well as what European Union Member States can do to help coaches meet the expectations placed on them by their changing role and society. The speakers at the conference included Roy Hodgson, Sergio Lara Bercial, Raul Rebane and many other experts in the field from around the world.                                      

Minister of Culture Indrek Saar, who opened the conference, noted that the social impact of coaches as the teachers of values and important life skills is probably greater than their sport-specific role. “If our goal is to have more physically active, healthier, more productive Europeans who embrace diversity and value the principle of fair play, respect one another and know the importance of team play - both in sport as well as in society - then we need to support and invest into coaches as one of the key players who have a significant role in reaching that goal,” Saar stressed.

In his presentation, Roy Hodgson, a member of UEFA’s technical study group, renowned English football manager, and former football player noted that countries must provide more support to their coaches and to recognise their role as teachers. 

Roy Hodgson, Technical instructor for UEFA, English football manager and former player, said: „Coaches need to be better supported and reckognised in their role as educators on the government level.  In the end, it is up to the governments to  reckognise the significant role that sports and investing in coaches as educators can play in  fighting and preventing many social problems . And hopefully this conference will help to put this topic on the table and start the discussion“, Roy Hodgson said.

Speaking about the broader social role played by coaches, communications consultant Raul Rebane noted that coaches make a great impact on all areas of community life. “Every good coach must also be a community leader – it is not enough to be a competent teacher of athletic skills,” stressed Rebane, who is the former leader of discus thrower Gert Kanter’s team.

“It is very important that coaching activities are being discussed at such a high policymaking level in the context of the presidency,” said Sergio Lara-Bercial, Chairman of the International Council for Coaching Excellence (ICCE). “Finally coaching has been reckoninised for making a very storng impact in society, beyond medals and beyond sport skills. We are realising now that coaching has the power to transform the society, to make the society better. To make life better for everybody,” said Lara-Bercial.

During the Presidency of the Council of the EU, Estonia has chosen the role of coaches in society as its priority topic. Raising awareness of the role of coaches as the teachers of values and necessary life skills, as shapers of physical exercise habits, and connectors of society is topical and innovative at the level of the Members States and the European Union more broadly.

Read more about the priorities of the Estonian Presidency of the Council of the EU in the cultural, audiovisual and sport fields.

The conference can be viewed online on the Estonian Presidency of the Council of the EU website HERE.

See the photo gallery of the event here


More information:

Tarvi Pürn

Undersecretary for Sport

Ministry of Culture

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