The iCoachKids global movement continues through the launch of iCoachKids+ in Leeds

Leeds Beckett University and the International Council for Coaching Excellence continue to build on the momentum of the highly successful iCK movement, with a second multinational project prioritising and facilitating the education and recognition of youth sport coaches across Europe.

Following a successful bid to the April 2019 round of Erasmus+ Sport applications, Leeds Beckett University (LBU) and the International Council for Coaching Excellence (ICCE) have secured significant European funding for an exciting new project entitled ‘iCoachKids+: Digital Coach Education to Enhance Participation, Retention and Development in Youth Sport’. The project will take place between January 2020 and December 2022.

The first meeting of the project management group took place at Leeds Beckett University on 6th and 7th February 2020, with a wealth of expertise and input from the project partner representatives around the table.

iCoachKids+ is a collective of nine organisations – each of them experts in the field of youth sport and coach education – led by LBU and ICCE, including the Netherlands Olympic Committee (NOC*NSF), the Hungarian Coaching Association, Sport Ireland Coaching, Universidad Europea de Madrid, the Royal Belgian Football Association, FIBA Europe and Deutsche Sportjugend (DOSB; German Youth Sport).

Through the development of targeted and specific coach education, iCK+ aims to enhance participation in sport and decrease dropout for children aged 13-18 (especially in girls).  It also aims to maximise the health enhancing properties of sport participation, whilst taking full advantage of the potential of sport as a tool for positive youth development. In this regard, how coaches can create holistic development environments in the performance pathway will be strongly considered.

The project will build on the work of the first iCK project (for children aged 5-12) through development of open and innovative education and training resources and opportunities for youth coaches.  These resources are based on a learner-centred, collaborative approach maximizing the most advanced techniques of open-source e-learning in the shape of Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) and an interactive online platform. 

iCK and iCK+ provide tools to facilitate the creation of effective partnerships between social partners, companies and VET providers to provide more work-based education and training opportunities for coaches of children.

Project Leader, LBU’s Dr Sergio Lara-Bercial says:

“We feel very privileged that the work iCoachKid has done to date has been rewarded with new funding to continue to create educational resources for coaches across the whole of the participation pathway. Young people aged 13 to 18 go through vast changes in their journey towards adulthood and sport should support them navigate that process, never hinder it. That’s what iCK+ is about”.

For more information on project iCoachKids+ please contact Sergio Lara-Bercial on

iCoachKids+ is co-funded by an Erasmus+ grant and led by Leeds Beckett University and the International Council for Coaching Excellence. It brings together another seven world-class organisations with a common desire to support children and youth coaches and a proven track record of doing so. These include Sport Ireland Coaching, the Hungarian Coaches Association, the Netherlands Olympic Committee, the European University of Madrid, the Royal Belgian Football Association, FIBA Europe and Deutsche Sportjugend.


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