UEFA's campaign to foster coach education throughout Europe continues over the coming week with the second pilot event in an innovative student exchange programme which has the full support of the UEFA Executive Committee.
The project aims to give UEFA Pro licence students opportunities for international knowledge exchange as well as the chance to enjoy direct access to UEFA tutors and content as part of their education as coaches. Denmark – hosting the UEFA European Under-21 Championship from 11 to 25 June – and the city of Aarhus will welcome students from Finland, Norway and Sweden in addition to local ones.
The inaugural pilot course took place at UEFA's House of European Football in Nyon last month and featured students from the Czech Republic, Poland and Scotland. Participants in each course come from three European national associations and are led by their respective coach education directors. UEFA appoints an overall course director to coordinate the event, with members of UEFA's Jira Panel also becoming actively involved along with guest presenters.
Nico Romeijn, director of the coach education academy of the Royal Netherlands Football Association (KNVB) and a Jira Panel member, will be course leader and former England defender Gareth Southgate – now head of elite development at the English Football Association (FA) – will be present as guest speaker. Howard Wilkinson, chairman of the English League Managers Association and another Jira Panel member, will also again contribute to this educational exercise.
The programme promises direct involvement on the part of European football's governing body: a major objective is to give extra support to the Pro licence courses run by national associations. These student exchange activities will be staged at UEFA's headquarters in Nyon or in conjunction with a UEFA event, such as the U21 tournament.
The short-term target is to launch the student exchange officially with up to four events during the 2011/12 campaign. Group discussions, forum sessions, match analysis and talks with professional coaches will figure on the agendas together with practical sessions.
This time around, students on the course in Denmark will take in several U21 Championship matches to make analyses. "The aim is to encourage student coaches to move across Europe and broaden their horizons," said UEFA's technical director, Andy Roxburgh. "This is an exciting project and one which, UEFA is convinced, will genuinely add value to the coach education work being done by our member associations."
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