The Turkish Football Association (TFF) has launched an initiative with the aim of educating more qualified disability football coaches in Turkey, with the first phase of the project focusing on tutor training.
Organised by the TFF's disability football department, TFF professional coaches, regional coordinators of Grassroots Turkey and academics experienced in disability sports, the first part of the training programme was held on 21 January and concentrated on players with intellectual difficulties. A six-hour course in Istanbul was led by Andre Peeters, the European football adviser of Special Olympics Europe Eurasia (SOEE), with 20 participants for theory and practical sessions.
The course tutors were accompanied during the practical sessions by 18 Special Olympics unified football team members – a team of mixed players with, and without, intellectual disabilities – with a match between the players and the tutors taking place afterwards.
"The course was very successful and there is great potential for further development looking at the level of the participants," said Peeters, who has assisted the Royal Belgian Football Association (URBSFA-KBVB) and has several years' international experience in conducting workshops and competitions for the UEFA-supported SOEE movement. "I believe this initiative by the Turkish Football Association will be successful and reach a very good level," he added.
The tutor training course continues in February and March, with the next instalments dedicated to cerebral palsy (CP) football and amputees, with other disability football experts speaking. The TFF disability football coach education programme will begin upon the completion of all parts of the tutor training.
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