East African collaborations boost profile and direction of grassroots sportSubscribe
UK Sport International 25 June 2012
The child-centred coaching of grassroots sport in the East African region will be the focus for practitioners attending the upcoming ‘Heads of Sport Forum’ at the East Africa Cup (EAC), in Tanzania.
The collation of network members will join to discuss the long-term objective of standardising training for coaches involved in the tournament and invited agencies. This initiative was launched at EAC 2011 under the East Africa Cup community Coach Education System (EACCES), to support the education and focus of network agencies at both the tournament and in their respective countries so that coaching accreditation can be recognised across the region. The initiative has grown out of the regions most exciting and anticipated sport and development tournament, with the aim to provide a social enterprise opportunity for lead EAC network members to expand their current education and development activity to support other agencies in EAC, and potentially leverage funding.
UK Sport, one of the network’s key partners, has provided support for this groundbreaking coalition with the placement of Evans Oduor Odago, in Arusha, as regional coordinator for the EACCES programme. This mammoth task of bringing together so many organisations is a challenge given the geographical distance involved, but despite this, “The feedback we have received from participants so far shows that this process is really needed,” he said.
Currently 20 organisations are part of the tournament and the project will be driven by the EACCES Working Group, who have set out four main interventions to achieve this long-term objective.
One of the four interventions within the EACCES project is to provide a ‘map’ for EAC Coach Development systems, which Evans has started undertaking with Rwandan and Kenya based organisation CHRISC and MYSA in Kenya.
“Next month both organisations will meet and compare where each other’s strengths and weaknesses lie, so that they could share best practice and adapt models to their working environment,” said Evans.
After the mapping exercises, it is hoped that the current coach development system is understood and the EACCES Working Group can focus on how this can be coordinated for the benefit of each partner, the coaches and participants as well as share this information with larger existing sports structures.
Evans, who was previously a coach based with CHRISC in Nairobi, says: “The next step will be to follow up with the working group once the mapping is complete and then approach sports councils and federations in the country to assist grassroots organisations to develop sustainable plans.”
George Nange from the Kicking AIDS Out! Secretariat and Evans, the regional KAO coordinator will offer participants the opportunity to take part in a refresher course and curriculum review of Kicking AIDS Out! programmes which was held last year.
The Heads of Sports Forum will take place during the East Africa Cup on 29th June in Moshi, Tanzania.