Sport Specific National Training Program to Coach Athletes with disabilities Print E-mail

Name of the EGP
Sport Specific National Training Programme to Coach Athletes with disabilities.

Description the EGP + what is the content of the programme?
One of the most elementary needs within the Flemish sports area is the need for more and better professional guidance. A necessary prerequisite for this is a decent training and education structure. Formation of sports trainers and coaches is crucial within this premise. The Flemish training school, a structure within BLOSO plays a central leading role.
The Flemish training school is the only recognised training centre for sports in Belgium, with central role and responsibility to educate trainers and coaches within specific sports on all levels (from initiation over advanced B level towards advanced A level).
The Flemish training school recognises and organises the following formations:

  • SSE: Sport specific education (in over 50 different sports and various sports disciplines)
  • CSSE: Complementary sport specific education (e.g. coaching athletes with disabilities, coaching elderly, …)
  • Professional education (e.g. Lifesaver, Sports officer, Swimming coordinator, manager, …)
  • Guidance related education (movement recreation, coordinator of youth sport, jogging guidance,…)
  • Further training courses

Formation of trainers and coachers within disability sport is fully integrated within this national sport structures. The focus hereby is to work towards a fully integrated setting on organisational level, and to set equal high quality standards for coaches and trainers, no matter if they work in disability sport or regular sport settings.
The aim for the future is to merge the SSE and CSSE completely and ultimately become that every qualified trainer within a specific sport also has basic knowledge about how to adapt his sport to athletes with all kind of abilities and disabilities.
The current situation is that the SSE and CSSE are merged for some sports (walking, fitness, goalball and boccia). CSSE is not obligatory but required for trainers and coaches in the following sports: badminton, swimming, soccer, tennis, ski, athletics, basketball, gymnastics, judo and equestrian. It is an 78 obligatory requirement for coaches or trainers when they want to receive the certificate for a CSSE in their sport to firstly have reached at least initiation level within the SSE.
A qualified coach first of all needs basic knowledge, competence and skills within his specific sport, and additionally he needs the knowledge, competence and skills to adapt the sport towards persons with disabilities.
On SSE level, this includes: general didactical principles, development of training plans, safety and health, basic knowledge and skill of basic techniques and tactical principles of the specific sport, goal setting…
On CSSE level, this includes: knowledge of structure of disability sport in Belgium, using the didactical principles applied to persons with disabilities (various target groups), knowledge and skills on how to adapt exercise and training programmes within the sport for individuals with disabilities, evaluation of physical potential of athletes, safety and health considerations …

Where is it provided?
The project is provided in Flanders, the Flemish speaking part of Belgium. Courses are given in the national BLOSO centres.

Who is providing this programme?
“BLOSO” is an organisation, lead by the Flemish Government of Belgium. The full name of the organisation is “Agency for Promotion of Physical Development, Sports and outdoor recreation”. It is under government of the ministry of Sport, and its main tasks are the exploitation of 13 national sport centres, subsidising of Flemish Sports Federations and the outline of the Sport policy in Belgium from promotion of “Sports for all” towards government of elite sport.

Local/national/European level of programme?
The programme is running at national level, but only in the Northern part of Belgium (Flemish speaking part).

Segregated/inclusive setting?

Recreational/competitive level?
Trainers are educated to be able to work on the highest (competitive) level, but how to work on a recreational level is also highlighted during the courses.

What is the target group?
The target group are all certificated coaches who want to gain extra knowledge about how to coach athletes with disabilities.

Why this EGP is relevant to be included in EUSAPA project?
Qualified coaches with in depth sport specific knowledge are necessary to bring disability sport towards a higher level and on the other hand all trainers and coaches on all levels need insight in how to adapt their sport to athletes with different kind of abilities. This national programme is aiming towards this twofold goal. 79

What skills, competences and knowledge are present in this EGP?

  1. Develop and adapt exercise and training programmes for individuals with disabilities and/or special needs for specific sports
    1. Ability to develop appropriate programmes
    2. Ability to communicate in the appropriate environment
    3. Ability to adapt in the appropriate environment
      1. Mission, vision, aims and objectives of the programme
      2. Individuals with disabilities and/or special needs in relation to sport (exercise and training)
      3. Sport opportunities and settings for individuals with special needs
      4. Sports Science
      5. Theory of sport training
      6. Sports specific background
      7. Rules and classifications
      8. Legal and ethical issues
      9. General principles of adaptation
  2. Initial assessment of current situation and past history
    1. Ability to use specific assessment instruments
    2. Ability to analyse and interpret the data on the basis of theory
    3. Ability to consider and assess accessibility in the sports specific context
      1. Protocols, test measurements, batteries, biographical information, techniques for questioning
      2. Accessibility
  3. Develop and adapt exercise and training plans
    1. Ability to identify resources
    2. Ability to adapt and use appropriate equipment
    3. Ability to apply principles of theory of sport training
    4. Ability to set realistic goals
      1. Sports Science
      2. Theory of sport training
      3. Sports specific background
      4. Rules and classifications
  4. Adapt coaching strategies
    1. Ability to use appropriate coaching methods
    2. Ability to communicate
    3. Ability to actively engage with the coaching environment (e.g. interaction, learning process, cooperation, cohesion)
      1. Coaching styles
      2. Coaching methods
      3. General communication strategies
      4. Methods of alternative communication as required
      5. Appropriate Sports Science knowledge
  5. Communication and cooperation
    1. Ability to communicate with the appropriate support networks
    2. Ability to communicate effectively with participants and target groups
    3. Ability to identify and choose appropriate strategies to communicate with key individuals or networks
      1. General communication strategies
      2. Methods of alternative communication as required 80
  6. Evaluate impact and re-adjust the plan
    1. Ability tose specific assessment instruments
    2. Ability to practically interpret, reassess and re-adjust the plan
    3. Ability to be self reflective
      1. Protocols, observation techniques, test measurements, test batteries, biographical information, techniques for questioning
  7. Administration
    1. Ability to perform administrative tasks
    2. Ability to organise and prioritise information
      1. Basic administration systems
      2. Language and information technology
      3. Prepare reports

Example of good practice was described by Debbie Van Biesen from the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven.