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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.

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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.

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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.

[i] https://www.olympic.org/public-affairs-and-social-development-through-sport

[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. http://doi.org/10.1080/17509840701834573

[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.

 

Sochi

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.

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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.

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

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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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted by: Norman Brook | March 9, 2017

Building Sporting & Life Competences

Posted by: Norman Brook | March 3, 2017

Developing Independent, Confident & Skilled Athletes

Richard Mayer is a South African athletics coach, runner, athletics statistician and an advocate for the Lydiard approach to running.  He recently asked this question in a running forum:

“I belong to the school of coaching that tends to make the coach redundant – if you guide your athlete well enough over 4 to 5 years, she or he should be able to do it on her/his own and only need your guidance when problems arise – However, where I do believe the coach must monitor and interact with an athlete extensively is in the crucial peaking phase – the business end of the training programme and periodisation cycle- what do other people think?”

This is my response:

One of long term aims of coaching should be to build the athlete’s awareness, their confidence and to enable them to take responsibility for themselves in training and competition. A level of awareness that enables them to make good decisions in training, in competition and in life. The confidence to act independently and to take responsibility for their own actions and resulting performance.

Coaches need over a period of time to transfer control from coach to athlete. Coaching should be athlete centred and designed to meet the needs of an athlete at the time reflecting the stage of development they have reached. The style of coaching adopted by the coach therefore changes over time as the athlete develops increased awareness, confidence and responsibility.

Coaches should want the athletes they coach to become independent thinkers and decision makers and to see their role as coaches change from being that of an instructor to that of an advisor.

The conscious competence learning model helps us think about how athletes progress as they learn and to reflect on how our coaching style should change to meet the changing needs of the athlete.

The conscious competence model has four stages:

Unconscious Incompetent –  At this stage the athlete does not know very much and they have low levels of skill.  A young beginner athlete entering the sport for the first time would most likely be at this stage.

Conscious Incompetent – At this stage the athlete understands what they need to do to perform but has still not developed the skill levels required to be competent.

Conscious Competent – At this stage the understands what they need to do to perform and has developed the skills needed to perform with competence, but they need to make a concentrated effort when doing so.

Unconscious Competent – At this stage the athlete can perform with competence without needing to think to much about it.

As the athlete progresses through these stages of learning the style of coaching they need changes.

  1. The unconscious incompetent athlete needs direction. They need to coach to tell them what to do and to explain why they are doing it. This would apply especially to young beginner athletes who do not know very much about the sport and have yet to develop their skills. Here the coach makes decisions and directs.
  2. The conscious incompetent athlete knows what needs to be done and why they are doing it, but has not yet master the skill. The athlete needs to be coached. Here the coach consults with the athlete helping to develop their awareness, confidence and responsibility, but largely leads on decisions.
  3. The conscious competent athlete knows what to do, why they are doing it and has developed good levels of skill. At this stage they still have to make concentrated effort. Responsibility has moved from the coach to the athlete who now makes the decisions in consultation with the coach who has moved from being a coach to being a mentor.
  4. The unconscious competent athlete has a high level of awareness is confident and takes responsibility for their own participation and performance in training and competition. Responsibility has been delegated down from the coach to the athlete. The athlete will consult with the coach from time to time to seek support or advice.

I would recommend all coaches to read Ken Blanchard’s classic book Leadership and the One Minute Manager.[i] Although this is a business management book, it is also essentially a coaching book that introduces the concept of Situational Leadership, explaining how to coach people at different stages of their development.

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Of course, it is important to recognise that a coach may need to change their coaching style in different situations in order to meet the specific needs of an athlete. An athlete you are coaching, for example, may be at the conscious competent stage in terms of skill related drills they use in training. You then as the coach decide to introduce the athlete to a new drill. At the start the coach needs to introduce the new drill by providing direction. As the athlete practices and starts to understand and develop the skill involved in performing the drill they require coaching. Once the athlete masters the drill the coach moves to supporting them.

We need to recognise then that the coach needs to be able to direct, coach, support and delegate and that anyone of these different styles of coaching may be called upon depending on the athletes being coached and their level of competence.

Over time our aim will be to build the awareness and confidence of the athletes we coach and to progress them the stage where they can take responsibility for their training and competition. The point where coach can sit in the background with a smile and recognise a job well done.

[i] Ken Blanchard (2015), Leadership and the One Minute Manager, Harper Collins, New York. IBSN:978-0-00-710341-6

 

Posted by: Norman Brook | February 3, 2017

Safeguarding Children in Sport – Benefits & Risks

In previous articles published here, I have highlighted the absence of safeguarding policies and practice in sports organisations in South Africa. I believe the same could be said in most Medium and Low Income Countries (MLICs) across the world where National Sports Organisations have still to grasp this issue. Whilst great strides have been made in High Income countries to address the matter recent cases of historical child abuse in sport have highlighted the risk that not acting on this issue presents to sports organisations.  The adoption of safeguarding policies and practice in sports organisations will benefit children in sport creating a safe and enjoyable environment for them practice sport and develop as individuals. The risk of not adopting safeguards not only puts children at risk, but also puts the organisations responsible for governance in sport at risk of litigation and reputation loss.

UNICEF UK has led an international working group which has developed the International Safeguards for Children in Sport. I am pleased to have contributed to the working group as a member of one of the learning sets. If we are going to ensure the safety of children taking part in sport and protect the integrity, reputation and funds of National Sports Federations around the world, it is vital that such organisations in MLICs come to the table and start to implement these standards.

For this to happen we need international bodies such as the International Olympic Committee, United Nations Office on Sport for Development & Peace and Commonwealth Advisory Body on Sport (CABOS) to encourage the adoption of the International Safeguards for Children in Sport by targeting the International Sports Federations and National Sports Departments of Governments.  International Sports Federations can apply downward pressure through their regional structures to encourage National Sports Federations to adopt safeguarding policies and implement procedures. At the same time National Sports Departments can require National Sports Federations to adopt safeguards. National Sports Federations are dependent on funding either that cascaded down through their International Federations or Government funding which flows through their Department of Sport.  A requirement of funding should be the adoption of safeguards for children in sport as a key component of good governance.

To see if my fears that little was being done in South Africa to implement safeguarding of children within formal sporting structures were valid, I recently surveyed the websites of ten sports in South Africa to see if they have safeguarding policies or procedures and if there is information on their websites how children or parents can raise concerns. The ten sport were chosen randomly from those being surveyed annually by the Eminent Persons Group on Transformation in Sport and were all considered sports for children. Of the ten websites surveyed not one had any information on the safeguarding of children in their sport. One, South African Swimming, made a one line mention of child protection in their constitution which is available on their website. It read under clause 4.13 “Ensure that the Child Protection Policy for persons working with minors is rigorous.” The lack of information on the website suggests that the Child Protection Policy may not be as rigorous as intended.

My feeling is that if sports organisations in South Africa do not have safeguards for children in place, it is likely to be reflective of all MLICs given that South Africa is a leading sports nation.

The International Safeguards for Sport give the following reasons why sports organisations should safeguard children in their sports structures:

  • Recognition  – Key organizations such as the International Olympic Committee have acknowledged this issue.
  • Media – Cases of abuse are increasingly reported.
  • Human Rights – United Nations Convention on the Rights of Children.
  • Duty of Care – If you are responsible for children you have a fundamental duty of care to ensure they are safe.
  • Scientific Evidence – Research suggests that abuse in sport is a key issue.
  • Benefits of Sport – Safeguards can help maximise these benefits.
  • Reputation – Cases of abuse can threaten the integrity of your organisation, sport and community.

I would add to their list the following two reasons:

  • Moral Responsibility – Sports Federations have a moral  responsibility to contribute towards the eradication of violence against children in society by ensuring children in their sport’s systems are safe.
  • Risk – In an increasingly litigious society it is only a matter of time before a National Sports Federation will be sued for not taking measures to safeguard children participating in their sport.

This lack of visibility of safeguarding measures in the sampled South African Sports Federations highlights the need to push forward the agenda around implementation of the International Safeguards for Children in Sport in the Federations and their structures in MLICs.

Norman Brook MBE was a Child Protection Training Tutor and Trainer of Tutors for Sportscoach UK during the 1990’s and 2000’s. He was responsible for developing and implementing Child protection policies and procedures at the British Triathlon Federation where he was the Chief Executive Officer. He served on a working group contributing to the development of UNICEF UK’s International Standards for Safeguarding Children in Sport.  Through his work on developing coaches and coaching resources for sport and development settings, Norman has ensured that all publications address the issue of safeguarding children participating in sport.

Brook Sport Consulting conducted a successful first tutor training course for tutors of Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) commisssaires at the World Governing Body’s cycling centre in Aigle, Switzerland.  The course was lead by Norman Brook and co-facilitated by Thanos Nikopoulos. Commissaire is the generic term for an official in competitive cycling, approximately equivalent to umpires or referees in other sports. The training course aimed to improve the teaching skills of the tutors moving them towards a more facilitative style of delivery that helps develop the applied competence of commissaires across a number of the cycling disciplines governed by the UCI.

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Participants attended the course from Canada, France, Hungary, Italy, Netherlands, Singapore and Switzerland. They reported that the course had helped develop a range of skills and teaching styles that would better help them deliver training that meets the needs of potential international and national elite commissaires.

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