A two-day meeting of European Union sport directors gets underway in Tallinn today, which will focus on the role of coaches in society. The sport leaders of the Member States will also discuss how to better involve sport organisations in the development of European Union sport policy, and what the support will be provided by the Erasmus+ programme to sport in the upcoming period.
According to Tarvi Pürn, Undersecretary for Sport at the Ministry of Culture and the head of the Estonian delegation, the Estonian presidency provides an excellent opportunity to host the shapers of sport policy from the EU Member States in Estonia for the first time, and to introduce the priorities of the presidency in the field of sport. “In Estonia, the subject of coaches has been promoted for over ten years. We have a publicly available Register of Coaches and applications for the professional certification of coaches are processed online. This is unique in Europe,” Pürn affirmed. He also noted that, largely thanks to the success that has been achieved, Estonia decided to focus on the topic of coaches in the sport field during its presidency. “At the level of European Union sport leaders, we would like to develop a common understanding among the Member States regarding the broader role and impact of coaches. This is undoubtedly an innovative and topical approach for Europe.”
Tarvi Pürn added that, in addition to the meeting, discussions are planned with the sport leaders of the Member States on topics that impact cooperation between the European Union and sport organisations during the coming years. “For Europe, it is important to ensure a constructive dialogue between the EU and the sport organisations, and to consider on what basis and how the financing of sport can be organised starting in 2021, when the new period for the Erasmus+ programme will commence,” said Pürn.
The participants at the regular meetings of the EU sport leaders include the head of the agency in each Member State responsible for the sport field with a delegation, a total of almost 50 people. The meetings occur twice a year, and this is the first meeting in Estonia.
The meeting of the sport leaders will also be a prelude to the international conference, entitled "The Role of Sport Coaches in Society. Adding Value to People’s Lives" that starts on 13 July. During the two days of the conference, which is part of the Estonian Presidency of the Council of the EU, the discussion will cover the role of results-oriented and amateur sport coaches in society, considering their fundamental role in sport, impact on individuals and society. The main speakers will Sergio Lara-Bercial, representative of the International Council for Coaching Excellence (ICCE), and Roy Hodgson, long-time football coach, who has also managed the England national team.