Posted by: Norman Brook | December 13, 2017

Sport developing Employability Skills for the Future of Jobs

The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development[1] recognise that sport is an important enabler of sustainable development. Sport is making a contribution to the realisation of peace and development, promoting tolerance and respect, encouraging the empowerment of women and of young people, individuals and communities and contributing to health, education and social inclusion objectives.

The Commonwealth Secretariat published a guide titled “Enhancing the contribution of sport to the Sustainable Development Goals”[2] which seeks to provide direction for governmental policy-makers, and other stakeholders, to enable sport to make the fullest possible contribution to sustainable development. The guide considers the contribution that can be made by sport to Good Health & Well-Being (SDG 3), Quality Education (SDG 4), Gender Equality (SDG 5), Decent Work & Economic Growth (SDG 8), Sustainable Cities & Communities (SDG 11), Peace, Justice & Strong Institutions (SDG 16), and Partnerships for the Goals (SDG 17).


In this article, we consider how encouraging young people to participate in sport either as players or as young sports leaders might promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all (SDG Goal 8).

The Commonwealth Secretariat guide notes that “sport can contribute to the development of core skills such as communication, teamwork and problem solving.” Participation in sport as a player or young sports leader can help develop core and entrepreneurial skills and increase an individual’s employability.

Access to a good education is important especially as opportunities for unskilled work around the world are falling away due to increased automisation and jobs requiring specific technical skills increase.  Employers need people with appropriate qualifications and technical skills, but they also need people that have the soft skills required to fulfil the role and contribute to an organisation’s success.

Employers are increasingly seeking employees that possess core employability skills as well as specialist, technical skills and it is these soft skills that can be transferred between different jobs and different employment sectors that sport may be good at developing in young people.

Sport is recognised by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and the International Labour Organisation (ILO)[3] as a useful means of engaging unemployed youth and working with those who have not attended or completed school.  It is also a means of teaching those in education core employability skills in an informal set outside of the classroom.

Young people who participate in sport are often more successful at gaining employment and tend to earn more money than those who do not.[4] [5] It would appear that participation in sport develops core skills that employers want to see in their employees and that these skills help individuals become successful in the work place.

Sport2Work Manual


In writing a multi-sport manual called “Sport2Work”[6] for the GIZ in Ethiopia designed to help young people transfer core skills developed through sport to the workplace, Norman Brook, Donny Jurgens and Nick Grau were informed by research undertaken by Karen Petry and Louis Moustakas.[7]  They selected the following core skills or competences as being important in the context of the Ethiopian labour market. Using a process called “connected coaching” coaches using the manual are able to help young people make an “intentional connection” with the core skills or competences they develop through participation in sport as a player or young sports leader and the application application of these soft skills in the workplace.

In the GIZ Manual the following core skills or competences were identified:

  1. Communication
  2. Leading a Team
  3. Decision Making
  4. Cooperation
  5. Goal Orientation
  6. Self-Responsibility
  7. Self-Discipline
  8. Adaptive & Creativity

The manual which used the sports of football, basketball, handball and volleyball to teach employability skills to young people can be accessed online using this link.

According to the World Economic Forum[8] come 2020, over one-third of skills (35%) of the core skills that were considered important in the workforce just a few years ago will have changed. New developments driven by the Fourth Industrial Revolution will transform the way we live and work. Some jobs will disappear, others will grow and jobs that don’t even exist today will become commonplace. The employees of the future workforce will need to develop key core skills if they are to keep pace with change in the labour market.

The following infographic illustrates the changing nature of these skills. The ten core skills projected by the World Economic Forum to become important by 2020 can all be developed through participation in sport either as a player or as a young sports leader.

Future of Jobs Skills

Complex Problem Solving

“The ability to find solutions to difficult or complex issues.”

Players need to make choices in games or competitions that help them or their teams perform well. No two games are ever the same, different environment, different opposition, different conditions, and even a different make up of your own team, present issues on the field that need to be solved if the player or team is to be successful.

Critical Thinking

“Disciplined thinking that is clear, rational, open-minded, and informed by evidence.”

Players learn from their experiences on the sports field by reviewing their performance and apply their learning to new situations.


“The ability to transcend traditional thinking and create meaningful new ideas, forms, methods, interpretations.”

If players or teams keep doing what they have always done on the sports field they will quickly lose a competitive advantage. Players need to be creative, develop and try out new approaches to keep ahead of their opposition.

People Management

“The ability to lead, motivate, train, inspire, and encourage others.”

Sport provides the opportunity for players to become leaders. All players in a team have the opportunity to lead, motivate, support and encourage their team mates not just the Team Captain.

Coordinating with Others

“The ability to work with others to achieve a common purpose.”

In team sports it is obvious that successful teams learn how to work together to achieve a common goal, but even in individual sports there it is likely that the player will be surrounded by a team that supports their participation in the sport.

Emotional Intelligence

“The ability to recognise, understand and manage our own emotions.”

Participation in sport can help young people to recognise, contextualise, and learn how to manage their different emotions. Players experience highs and lows in performance, winning and losing, and through such experience learn how they react and how to manage how they feel.

Judgement & Decision Making

“The ability to make a decision after careful thought.”

Through playing sport, young people learn how to analyse situations and make quick decisions. The decisions they make on the field will impact the outcome of the game so they need to learn to make wise decisions even when they are under pressure.

Service Orientation

“To have empathy for a customer’s needs coupled with the desire to meet those needs.”

A player’s customers may be his/her teammates, their supporters, sponsors, etc. Players learn how to best support their teammates on and off the field. They learn how to communicate with their supporters often using social media to stage engaged with them. They learn how to promote the brands of their sponsors.


“The ability to engage with others to reach an agreement.”

Especially in team sports, players will develop negotiation skills as they seek to agree how they will play together on the field.  When challenges arise they need to be able to discuss issues and agree the way forward. In individual sports, players will have these types of conversations with other players, their coaches and support team.

Cognitive Flexibility

“The mental ability to switch between thinking about two different concepts, and to think about multiple concepts simultaneously.”

Sport is fast moving and involves interpreting multiple cues. Players need to deal with the here and now, but also be cognisant of what will be coming next. Sport helps develop cognitive flexibility as players have to deal with a fast changing set of circumstances on the field.  There is also some research that suggests that high levels of fitness improve cognitive flexibility.

Sport can contribute to the full and productive employment by helping young people develop core employability skills that are going to be a prerequisite for future employment. Sports based programmes aimed at preparing young people for future work should consider the ten core skills identified by the World Economic Forum and develop approaches that help young people make an intentional connection between the skill they are using on the sports field and its importance to future employment

[1] Kerry Allen, Steve Bullough, Doug Cole, Simon Shibli and Jayne Wilson. The Impact of Engagement in Sport on Graduate Employability; Final Report. Sheffield Hallam University, Sport Industry Research Centre, 2013, downloaded from  Accessed 1 May 2013.

[1] Pete Coffee and David Lavallee. Winning Students are Employable Students. University of Stirling, School of Sport, 2014 downloaded from   Accessed 1 May 2016.

[1] UN General Assembly, Transforming our world : the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, 21 October 2015, A/RES/70/1, available at: %5Baccessed 21 November 2017]

[2] Iain Lindsey and Tony Chapman, Enhancing the contribution of sport to the Sustainable Development Goals, Commonwealth Secretariat 2017, downloaded from Accessed 19 November 2017.

[3] International Labour Organization (ILO) (2013), Global Employment Trends for Youth 2013: A Generation at Risk, available at:–en/index.htm Accessed 20 November 2017

[4] Kerry Allen, Steve Bullough, Doug Cole, Simon Shibli and Jayne Wilson. The Impact of Engagement in Sport on Graduate Employability; Final Report. Sheffield Hallam University, Sport Industry Research Centre, 2013, downloaded from  Accessed 1 May 2013.

[5] Pete Coffee and David Lavallee. Winning Students are Employable Students. University of Stirling, School of Sport, 2014 downloaded from   Accessed 1 May 2016.

[6] Norman Brook, Donny Jurgens, and Nicholas Grau. Sport2Work Manual. Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH, Bonn and Eschborn, Germany, downloaded from…/giz2017-en-sport2work-manual-ethiopia.pdf Accessed March 2017.

[7] Karen Petry and Louis Moustakas,. Development of a Sport2Work Manual in Ethiopia: Analysis, Recommendations and Conception. Institute of European Sport Development and Leisure Studies, Cologne, 2016.

[8] World Economic Forum. Future of Jobs Report 2016. Downloaded from Accessed 20 November 2017.


Brook Sport Consulting has just completed three facilitator training courses, two for the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) conducted over two weekends in Budapest, Hungary, and one for the International Triathlon Union conducted in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

The UCI courses were to train tutors for the UCI Elite National and International Commissaire Courses as facilitators of adult learning using learner centred teaching approaches. Course participants attended from Australia, Brazil, Canada, Czechoslovakia, France, Germany, Great Britain, Italy, Malaysia, Netherlands, New Zealand, Portugal, Spain, and Switzerland. Norman Brook was assisted during the course by Wayne Pomario from the Union Cycliste Internationale.

The ITU course saw a mix of triathlon coaches, technical officials and administrators training to facilitate learning within the ITU’s global education programme. Course participants drawn from Greece, Hong Kong, Latvia, Macau, Mongolia, Philippines, Singapore, Spain, Taipei and Uzbekistan. Norman Brook was assisted during the course by Thanos Nikopoulos from the International Triathlon Union.

Malaysia 2017 Triathlon

ITU Facilitators Course Malaysia 2017

Here is a selection of the positive feedback we received by email from course participants after they had returned home:

“It was a very fruitful training which I believe will help me a lot in delivering effective courses in future.”

“To attend facilitator course has been very enriching to me, for sure it will be useful in my work but also personally.

“I wanted to thank you for the fantastic seminar, it was really eye opening. I took away a lot from these days and I hope I will be able to incorporate soon.”

“It was a very interesting and useful course; I’m sure that all the information you gave us will be used also in normal life.”

“I am very pleased for the great experience lived in Budapest where I have learned and appreciated a very high quality teaching techniques, under the didactic and human aspects.  In particular, I have appreciated your professionalism and your fantastic experience, your teaching will serve me to improve my way of transmitting knowledge, competence, language expression, organizing and conducting of a course with the goal of achieving the outcome of learning by the candidates through their involvement in knowing their skills and abilities. You have been a perfect teacher, thanks to you that I feel much improved.”

“Your course was perfect. Thanks for it. Will be very helpful.”

“I really enjoyed the course and to get to know you. I am already applying, in my classes, some of the things I have learned in the course.”

“Thank you for the information and the wonderful course you have given us. The course has already helped me in both sporting and professional aspects of my life and has been a great inspiration!”

“This weekend was a life changing one for me. It may not look like it, but you don’t know how much impact it did to me.”

“As I told you and Thanos… I never learn and change so much of my way in our Facilitator course.”

“Thank you both for a truly enlightening experience, that ah-ha moment when the penny drops. There is so much to digest which I am sure will happen over time as I put the knowledge into practice. I am excited and looking forward to the journey ahead.”

Children in South Africa are victims of child abuse (physical, emotional, sexual or neglect) or trafficking. 1 in 3 children will suffer sexual abuse and more than half will experience physical abuse. South Africa has one of the worst records in the world for child abuse.
Sport mirrors or reflects society, its virtues and vices, what happens in society also happens in sport. So if children are being abused in South African society it is safe to assume the abuse of children is prevalent in sport in South Africa.
Unlike many countries around the world where the safeguarding of children in sport has become a priority and a key component of good governance and integrity, little is being done in South Africa to forward this agenda.
We were deighted to be asked by Donny Jurgens and Western Province Athletics to conduct a session for their Team Managers on Implementing Safeguards for Children in Sport.
Using the UNICEF International Safeguards for Children in Sport the participants at the session:
  • recognised their legal and moral duty to safeguard children
  • identified the main forms of abuse and related poor practice in sport;
  • recognised the potential impact of not having safeguards in place;
  • reviewed the eight international safeguards and identified those safeguards that were or were not in place.
The red cards shown in the photograph above indicates that one of the eight safeguard was not in place. Although we had more red than amber or green cards, this was the first step in the process, raising awareness and helping Western Province Athletics identify what safeguards they are missing.
Much more needs to be done to develop Safe Sport in Africa and many more workshops like this are needed.
Posted by: Norman Brook | July 26, 2017

World Class Workshops

Brook Sport Consulting are now offering four World Class Workshops facilitated by leading sports education facilitators:

  • Facilitating Learning in Sports Organisations
  • Using Mentoring in Sports Organisations
  • Safeguarding Children in Sport; Developing Policy & Practice
  • Connected Coaching: Using Coaching Skills to Develop Young People


This three day “train the trainer” workshop has been delivered for a range of International Sports Federations and International NGOs around the world and prepares trainers to facilitate learning in both classroom and practical settings. The workshop is designed for those working in sports federation education programmes and for those working in the sport for peace and development sector.

“I have been on several ‘train the trainer’ courses over the years through my corporate life, but must admit I was extremely impressed with the style, content and effectiveness of this course. Norman ‘facilitated’ a course of world standard in my opinion. The experience & knowledge within the room was impressive and he was able to take us all to a new level of thinking & ensure that an encouraging, supportive yet challenging environment was maintained.”

Mick Delamotte, Head Coach, High Performance Tri, Australia

“The course (GIZ Youth Development through Football Instructor Training) I am on is interesting. One of the lecturers, Norman Brook is world class, he has held courses worldwide for instructors.

Anna Nyman, LdB Football Club, Sweden

This workshop enables trainers to develop their facilitation skills through practical activity in both classroom and practical settings, to personally reflect on their skills, receive peer and tutor reviews, all in a safe and empowering environment. In addition to developing facilitation skills, the workshop provides participants the opportunity to gain a better understanding of the principles that underpin learning and development for adults in sporting contexts.


Mentoring is becoming an increasingly important component in the learning and development programmes of International and National Sports Federations. It is also a valuable strategy for the development of young people in sport for peace and development programmes.


This workshop, which can be delivered over 1-2 days, outlines principles behind successful mentoring programmes and provides participants with the opportunity to practice key skills used by mentors to support mentees in their development.


Safeguarding is becoming a critical issue for all organisations providing children with the opportunity to participate in sport. Sports organisations have both a moral and legal duty of care to protect children and need to be able to assess and mitigate the risk of children being abused whilst participating in sport.


This workshop is based on the implementation of the International Safeguards for Children in Sport as developed under the leadership of UNICEF UK.

We offer a two-hour workshop to raise awareness of the importance and implications of safeguarding children in sport or a two-day workshop to assist sports organisations to plan to develop and implement their safeguarding policy and procedures to meet the standards set out in the International Safeguards for Children in Sport.


This two-day workshop helps sports coaches to develop the capability to use their coaching skills to not just develop the player’s physical, cognitive, technical and tactical sporting skills but also to develop the player’s values, personal, social and health skills. Connected coaching puts the coach at the heart of programmes designed not just to develop the player but also to develop the person.


All though it is widely believed that participation in sport can develop qualities in young people that lead to them being able to make positive and healthy choices in life, research suggests this can only occur when an intentional connection is made between lessons learned on the sports field and their implications for life as a whole.

It is the coach that helps make this connection through the application of the same coaching skills that are applied to develop a player’s physical, cognitive, technical and tactical sporting skills.  This workshop examines these skills and provides the opportunity to practice their application to the teaching of values, personal, social and health skills.

If you would like to learn more about our workshops, please contact:

Norman Brook

Brook Sports Consulting

Cell: + 27 (0)82 295 8208


Skype: norman.brook


Norman Brook delivered a “Safeguarding; Developing your Policy” Workshop in Gaborone, Botswana, for National Netball Federations in conjunction with the International Netball Federation’s World Youth Championships and Annual Congress.


The workshop was attended by around 20 delegates and officers from the International Netball Federation.

The workshop stressed the importance of safeguarding children in sport and the risks to sports federations who neglect to prioritize their moral and legal duty of care to protect children participating in their sport.


The workshop is based on the International Safeguards for Children in Sport which were developed under the leadership of UNICEF UK. Norman Brook led delegates through the eight safeguards and enabled them to assess their compliance using a traffic light system of green for fully compliant, amber for work in progress and red for non compliant.

The International Netball Federation is promoting the safeguarding children in netball as part of their strategic goal of promoting governance with integrity. The workshop in Gaborone was made possible through a partnership with UK Sport’s International Relations Directorate.


Posted by: Norman Brook | May 27, 2017

Sport2Work Manual Published

The GIZ in Ethiopia has published the Sport2Work Manual in English with a version also to be published in Amharic the official language in Ethiopia.

Sport2Work Manual

The manual was written by sport for development consultants Norman Brook, Donny Jurgens and Niklas Grau with input from Dr Karen Petry of the German Sports University in Cologne and the GIZ Sport for Development in Africa Project Team.

The Sport2Work Manual aims to help coaches in four team sports – basketball, football, handball, and volleyball – develop employability skills that are transferable to the workplace in young people through sports activity on and off the field.

The manual has been designed primarily for use in TVET institutions linking to National Occupation Standards, but can also be used in High Schools, Sports Federations and the NGO sector.

There seems to be quite some concern in Sport for Development and Peace circles that UN Secretary-General António Guterres has announced that the United Nations Office on Sport for Development and Peace (UNOSDP) has closed. Former UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan created the UNOSDP, appointing the first Special Adviser on Sport for Development and Peace Adolf Ogi in February 2001. Wilfried Lemke was appointed as the 2nd Special Adviser to the UN Secretary-General on Sport for Development and Peace by Ban Ki Moon. Lemke stepped down at the end of 2016 and many had been awaiting to learn whom Guterres would appoint as his special advisor.

The decision not to appoint a special advisor and to close down the UNOSDP would appear to be linked to an increasing partnership between the United Nations (UN) and the International Olympic Committee (IOC).

The Secretary-General has agreed with the President of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), Thomas Bach, to establish a direct partnership between the UN and the International Olympic Committee.  Accordingly, it was decided to close the UN Office on Sport for Development and Peace (UNOSDP).”

The IOC was granted observer status by the United Nations (UN) General Assembly in 2009 giving it the possibility of attending all UN General Assembly meetings where it can take the floor and promote sport. In addition to its 193 member states, the UN General Assembly may grant observer status to an international organization, entity or non-member state, which entitles the entity to participate in the work of the UN General Assembly, though with limitations.

In 2015, a historic moment for sport and the IOC, sport was officially recognized as an “important enabler” of sustainable development and included in the United Nations 2030 Agenda. IOC President Thomas Bach was invited to speak at the launch of the UN Sustainable Development Goals where he described sport as a natural partner for the realisation of the 2030 Agenda.

Paragraph 37 of “Transforming our World: The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development” reads: “Sport is also an important enabler of sustainable development. We recognise the growing contribution of sport to the realisation of development and peace in its promotion of tolerance and respect and the contributions it makes to the empowerment of women and of young people, individuals and communities as well as to health, education and social inclusion objectives.”

More recently the IOC has appointed Philip French as Director of its Public Affairs and Social Development through Sport Department and formed a Commission for Public Affairs and Social Development through Sport[i] (formerly the International Relations Commission) lead by Mario Pescante to advise the IOC Session, Executive Board and President on strategies to promote the role of sport and Olympism in society and to position the IOC as a thought leader and a strong actor on the international stage around sport for development and peace in and beyond the Games. In doing so the stage was set for this commission to take over the role of the former Special Advisor and UNOSDP.

The responsibilities of the IOC Public Affairs and Social Development through Sport Commission are to:

  • Devise strategies to advocate for the integration of sport and physical activity in government policies and programmes, as well as international development policies and programmes;
  • Advise on engagement strategies with other key stakeholders and partners in sport for development, such as major organisations and institutions, the private sector (foundations, TOP sponsors, World Bank, etc.), and pressure groups (Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International, etc.);
  • Advise on strategies to develop impactful and sustainable grassroots sport for development and peace programmes with key selected and reputable strategic partners (UN, major NGOs, foundations);
  • Advise on the Sport for Hope Programme to ensure strong ongoing operations while developing sustainable operational models for the future;
  • Advise on a global communications strategy around sport for social change, leveraging various platforms and Olympians, as well as the Olympism in Action Congress;
  • Advise on how to further educate the Olympic Movement (NOCs, IFs, OCOGs, athletes) on the benefits of grassroots sport for development and peace, and help build their capacity to advocate, communicate and deliver around it.

With such a clear mandate for this IOC commission to further sport for development and peace, the IOC’s reach down through International Sports Federations and National Olympic Committees and the IOC’s observer status at the UN General Assembly, should we really be too concerned about the closure of the UNOSDP?

Perhaps those organisations that have a strong sport focus will welcome sport for development and peace being moved to the IOC whilst those organisations that are more focused on development outcomes would have preferred it to remain under the stewardship of the UN?

The role of the IOC Commission in educating the Olympic Movement on the benefits of grassroots sport for development and peace, and to help build capacity to advocate, communicate and deliver around should be welcomed by all who recognise the potential of sport to contribute to development and peace outcomes. The IOC has a huge reach and influence down to community level sport. Sports organisations in local communities are affiliated through National Sports Federation structures which are in turn are affiliated to International Sports Federations (ISFs) and National Olympic Committees (NOCs). The ISFs and NOCs being affiliated to the IOC. Through these structures the IOC is well placed to encourage sport to not just develop players but also promote values based life skills developing young people and addressing the social challenges identified in the Sustainable Development Goals.

Many may feel the IOC’s focus is only on competitive sport and that other forms of physical activity that are included in sport for development and peace may be overlooked.  The United Nations Inter-Agency Taskforce of Sport for Development and Peace included play, recreation, organised, casual or competitive sport; and indigenous sports or games within their definition of sport. The goals set out above for the IOC Public Affairs and Social Development through Sport Commission and the existence of other Commissions on Women in Sport, Sport and Active Society and Sustainability and Legacy may give some reassurance that the IOC has a wider remit than just competitive sport.

I remember Fred Coalter[ii] [iii] presenting to a meeting of Community Based SDP Organisations in Cape Town in 2010 where spoke of three approaches used by SDP organisations based on the relative emphasis given to sport to achieve certain outcomes.

  • “Traditional forms of provision for Sport, with an implicit assumption or explicit affirmation that such sport has inherent developmental properties for participants.”
  • Sport plus, in which sports are adapted and often augmented with parallel programmes in order to maximise their potential to achieve development objectives.”
  • Plus Sport, in which sports popularity is used as a type of ‘fly paper’ to attract young people to programmes of education and training, with the systematic development of sport rarely a strategic aim.”

Coalter challenged the implicit assumption or explicit affirmation that sport has inherent developmental properties for participants warning us to beware “sports evangelists” promoting such beliefs. This did not look good for sport as it seemed to point towards plus sport or sport plus as being more effective in achieving development or peace outcomes. The Sport Plus approach with sports being adapted or augmented with parallel non sport programmes seemed to diminish the role of sport. The Plus Sport approach where sport was used to attract young people into other programmes but where the sport itself was secondary importance also seemed to devalue the role of sport and its potential to be used to achieve development outcomes.

Gould and Carson[iv] point out that sport can have both positive and negative outcomes both in term of sporting skills and life skills.

Theokas et al[v] note that although participation is often linked with developmental benefits, mere participation does not confer benefits; the quality and implementation of sports programmes are the likely causal mechanisms of enjoyment and development.

According to Petitpas et al[vi] there is growing evidence, however, that if sport is structured in the right way and young people are surrounded by trained caring adult mentors, positive youth development is more likely to occur.

Danish et al[vii] suggest that simply disseminating information to participants alongside sports participation will not predictably produce the desired result of developing a young person’s life skills.  A better approach is the teaching of skills of how to succeed in life and why such skills are important. Moreover, skills, whether directed toward enhancing athletic performance or success in life, are taught in the same way – through demonstration, modelling and practice.

Gass[viii] noting that if sports programmes are designed to help the adolescent learn both sport and life skills, what is learned in the athletic venue must be able to be transferred to non-sport settings.

This suggests that there is potential to better design sports programmes to achieve development and peace outcomes and to train sports coaches to be able to coach value based life skills through sport.

The closing of the UNOSDP and the repositioning of sport for peace and development under the IOC presents the opportunity to mainstream sport for development and peace in traditional sports structures and to increase the reach of sport for development and peace movement. It also provides the opportunity to move Sport back to centre stage in the sport for development programming rather just using it as a means of attracting young people into other activities delivering development and peace outcomes.


[ii] Coalter, F., 2010. Sport-for-development: going beyond the boundary? Sport in Society: Culture, Commerce, Media, Politics, 13 (9) pp. 1374-1391.

[iii] Coalter, F., 2010. The politics of sport for development: Limited focus programmes and broad gauge problems?. International Review for the Sociology of Sport, 45 (3), pp.296 – 311.

[iv] Gould, D., & Carson, S. (2008a). Life skills development through sport: current status and future directions. International Review of Sport and Exercise Psychology, 1(1), 58–78.

[v] Theokas, C., Danish, S., Hodge, K., Heke, I. and Forneris, T., 2008. Enhancing life skills through sport for children and youth. Positive youth development through sport, 6, pp.71-81.

[vi] Petitpas, A. J., Van Raalte, J. L., Cornelius, A., and Presbrey, J. 2004 A life skills development program for high school student-athletes, Journal of Primary Prevention, 24: 325–34.

[vii] Danish, S.J. and Hale, B.D., 1981. Toward an understanding of the practice of sport psychology. Journal of Sport Psychology, 3(2).

[viii] Gass, M.A., 1985. Programming the transfer of learning in adventure education. Journal of Experiential Education, 8(3), pp.18-24.



Norman Brook has been appointed to the South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee’s Education and Training Commission. The commission is headed by SASCOC Vice President, Mr Barry Hendricks and comprises four members. The other members are Ms Marion Keim Lees, Ms Thoko Mlonyeni, and Mr Cecil Colin Abrahams.

The Commission’s Mandate is to provide policy guidelines and recommendations to the SASCOC Board on all matters relating to policies of Education and Training within the organization. Position’s on the Commission are regarded as a voluntary service.

SA Group 6

Norman Brook recently contributed to a three day Safeguarding Children in Sport workshop held in Johannesburg. The workshop was lead by Elias Musangeya and Jemima Coates from UK Sport and was facilitated by Wilbert Muchunguzi from Keeping Children Safe. The workshop was attended by representatives from the sports of Cycling, Netball, Rowing and Triathlon.

The workshop afforded participants the opportunity of considering what needs to be done in their sports to implement the International Safeguards for Children in Sport which were developed by a working group representing a range of sport and sport for development stakeholders which was lead by of UNICEF UK.

Attending the workshop were participants from Botswana, Ivory Coast, Malawi, Namibia, Nigeria, Seychelles, South Africa, Uganda, Zambia, Zimbabwe.

Posted by: Norman Brook | March 20, 2017

Sport Workforce Development

Sport is delivered through a workforce that is comprised of both salaried staff and volunteers. The workforce comprises administrators, technical officials, coaches and other roles specific to the sport. Sport needs a competent workforce to deliver a quality sports experience to their participants that requires access to learning and development opportunities in order to build their competences.

International and national sports federations are increasingly seeking to develop sport by investing in the learning and development of their workforce. Individuals working in sport learn through a mixture of activities including practicing in the field, completing formal sports education qualifications, self-directed study, by attending conferences, workshops and seminars, and through mentoring or being a member of a community of practice.  Traditionally sports federations would deliver face to face training leading to a formal sports education qualification or certificate. Advances now see sports federations supporting the learning and development of their workforce by supporting the different ways in which people learn.  An example of this would be the introduction of blended or hybrid learning where online digital media is combined with traditional classroom methods.

Sport Workforce Learning & Development Opportunities

Figure 1: Sport Workforce Learning & Development Opportunities

Sports organizations are increasingly looking at a learning and development strategy for their workforce that asks what are the competences we need to develop in our staff and volunteers to enable them to perform their roles to the best of their ability. Strategies that include formal sports education programs with clear outcomes that focus on developing the applied competency or capability of the workforce. Programs that are outcome driven and can be evaluated.

In addition to designing education programs which feature traditional face to face training courses, many sports federations are using online platforms to blend pre-course and post-course study with the instructed course.  They are also supporting ongoing learning and development outside of formal sports education courses and qualifications by delivering continuing professional development opportunities in the form of conferences, workshops and seminars and are delivering formal mentoring programs.  This ongoing education and learning activity following on from traditional sports education courses and qualifications helping the sports workforce move from competence to capability i.e. not just being competent to undertake a task, but having the ability to adapt tasks in new situations.

Applied Competency

Figure 2: Supporting Learners to Shift from Competence to Capability

In order to deliver a comprehensive sports education program, many sports organisations are developing a team of people who support the education and development of the workforce. These sports educators work to:

  • Develop organizational strategies to support the learning and development of the sport’s workforce;
  • Design education programs and develop resources to support learning;
  • Facilitate the learning and development of the workforce in face to face settings;
  • Conduct assessment of learners seeking to gain a qualification/certificate;
  • Mentor learners in the field;
  • Evaluate and verify the delivery of sports education programs.

Sports educators can be program developers, facilitators, mentors, assessors or verifiers.

Brook Sports Consulting has years of experience in developing individuals working in sport and supporting sports organizations to develop and deliver education programs.  We are currently working on sports education projects for a number of International Sports Federations. We also have experience of developing the workforce within organizations that specialize in using sport for development outcomes.  Developing sport for development programs, resources and people.


Photo 1: Developing a Sport for Development Education Program for use in TVET Colleges in Ethiopia.


Photo 2: Participants at the ITU/ASTC Facilitators Workshop held in Kuala Lumpur 2012

Brook Sports Consulting offer support in developing sport education strategies and programs, in developing learning resources, in training facilitators, mentors, assessors and verifiers.








Older Posts »