What is IDEALS?
International Development Through Excellence and Leadership in Sport or IDEALS is an initiative which aims to establish a high quality, progressive and co-ordinated sports leadership development exchange programme for young people aged 20-35 between the UK and partner countries. UK Sport started IDEALS in January 2006; since then it has grown and expanded. In 2011 we will have 49 students from 10 universities and 14 staff members and professionals working with 7 different organisations across 4 countries as part of the IDEALS programme.
IDEALS is a short term volunteer placement programme which is designed to be a reciprocal exchange of ideas and culture between a UK university and one of UK Sport’s international development partners. The additional capacity provided by the volunteers supports the local organisation’s work and allows both staff and volunteers from the UK and the hosting country to undertake professional development as they work alongside each other.
In 2010, all the students who took part in the programme answered a quick survey on their skill development. See the impressive results of the 2010 IDEALS survey.
- Mutuality and reciprocity – working together with a shared responsibility (resources, skills, knowledge and experience) for the project
- Partnership – An equitable balance between the partner organisations including shared agendas, purpose, resources and accountability
- Sustainability –To have a long-term impact upon the communities within which it is operating and to develop sustainable networks
- Global citizenship – Gaining an understanding of global factors and local issues which are present in all our lives, localities and communities through learning about their position and role in relation to the world in which we live
- Diversity and equity – Ability to be included in the programme irrespective of background or resources
- Personal development – Willingness to work in different ways and to be receptive to new ideas and demonstrate an openness to change
IDEALS Advanced – University students
To offer academic and vocational students and new graduates the opportunity to add value to their training programme, enhance their global awareness and develop their leadership skills before embarking on their professional careers.
To provide UK University students, and the respective country’s youth a unique opportunity to develop leadership and life skills through the delivery of sport that will enable the participants to become the leaders of tomorrow.
IDEALS Professional - Teachers/ Sports development professionals
To broaden the professional experience, extend the global awareness and enhance the leadership capacity of staff members already working in PE and sport development in identified higher educational institutions.
Provide a professional development opportunity for a staff member to fulfil a support role to the students whilst on placement and also allowing them to utilise their own skills and expertise in a new environment.
UK Sport facilitates and manages the IDEALS programme, supporting the universities and partner organisations involved.
The IDEALS project started in 2006. The project has been proven to have a lasting legacy through wider IDEALS Alumni and specific University engagement outside of the June to September period, when the students and staff are present.
The Wallace Group of Universities: (Durham, Northumbria, Loughborough, UWIC, Stirling, Bath and St Andrew’s) have agreed to work together on approved sport development projects in Zambia (EduSport and Sport in Action) that will provide added value to the students and staff of the partnership universities and to the communities in which they work, as well as providing an opportunity for integrated project development between the partner institutions.
Sport in Action: SIA’s vision is working towards and active, healthy and better living for all. Their mission statement states that SIA shall endeavour to use sport and recreation as a tool through which the quality of peoples’ lives can be improved by providing a programme that will bring about motivation, self-development and self reliance through social and economic empowerment.
EduSport seeks to use sport, recreation and other forms of physical activities as interventions for achieving empowerment, education, health and other development goals in socio-economically underserved communities in Zambia. Central to EduSport intervention methodology is the identification, training and supporting of young people to reach out through sport to their peers.
Netball Association of Zambia: NAZ is the national government body in Zambia for netball. It works as a voluntary organisation to support the development of netball across the country. Netball Development Officers do short-term placements at the Olympic Youth Development Centre (OYDC) supporting NAZ with the promotion and development of netball in Zambia.
Started in 2007, 6 students, accompanied by a team leader go to Windhoek for 8 weeks, working with a variety of sport for development NGO’s to support their work and put their theoretical degree knowledge into practice.
Liverpool John Moores University: are committed to the establishment of placements in Namibia (PAY, SCORE, & Special Olympics) to provide practical sports development experience to students as part of their degree and increase the capacity of Namibian organisations. The IDEALS placements have been incorporated in the Liverpool John Moores degree programme so the students earn university degree credits based on the work and reports from their time in Namibia.
Physically Active Youth (PAY) is a holistic after school programme offering academic assistance, physical education and life skills guidance to grade 10 students identified as ‘at risk to fail’. The programme also has a dance development component aimed at reaching young girls to foster discussion in women’s health and an environmental leadership education programme aimed at inspiring community connections:
SCORE’s vision is to be an international leader in the field of community development and volunteerism, utilising sports as a powerful medium to bring about sustainable development and empowerment, and build international and intercultural understanding.
Special Olympics Namibia (SON) is an international non profit organisation dedicated to empowering individuals with intellectual disabilities to become physically fit, productive and respected members of society through sports training and competition. Special Olympics offers children and adults with intellectual disabilities year-round training and competition in 30 Olympic-type summer and winter sports.
Started in 2008, the 8-week placement, from May- June, with the National Sports Council of Tanzania gives 4 students and 2 staff the opportunity work with peer leaders, sports coaches on mutual skill development and put their skills into practice by working with children and youth.
Sheffield Hallam University: are committed to the establishment of placements in Tanzania to provide practical sports development experience to students as part of their degree and increase and support the development on the BILD centres. Students’ involvement will be recognised in their work-based learning modules.
National Sports Council: in partnership with UK Sport, manage the new and innovative Beckwith International Leadership Development centres (BILD) which aims to develop sports leadership training and programmes for adults and young people right across Tanzania. For more information on BILD please go to www.uksport.gov.uk/pages/bild-newsletter.
The IDEALS Ghana is a pilot programme this year, with the first set of 6 second year students going to Accra for a 6 week placement.
Edge Hill University's vision is to provide an innovative, high quality and inclusive learning experience, developing individuals as skilled and autonomous learners. The University is committed to the establishment of IDEALS placements in Ghana to provide practical sports development, coaching and leadership experience to students as part of their specific degree programme. Students’ involvement will be recognised in their work-based learning modules.
University of Ghana is the oldest and largest University in Ghana with a current population of 33,039 students. In partnership with UK Sport, they manage the
Beckwith International Leadership Development (BILD) Programme which aims to deliver youth leadership training to teachers, schools and local communities.
Developing employability skills the IDEALS way
Research completed over 2011 found that university students involved in the IDEALS programme developed skills and experiences that added to their cultural intelligence, a skill highly desired by employers in the 21st Century. The report is written by Dr. Lynne Powell, Human Resource specialist and Senior Lecturer and Northumbria University.
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