On the last day of January 2020, an inaugural meeting for Regional Coach Training (REACT) project, took place in Latvia.
REACT project is co-funded by the Erasmus+ Programme of the European Union and its purpose is to support the existing training and educational system with the creation of the coach network in the Baltic Region.
Baltic Football School (BFS) will act as the main coordinator of the educational innovation platform with FC Elva, Valmiera Glass VIA/Valmiera FC and Siauliai FC acting as regional partners and project ambassadors whilst an important role will be performed by coach education department of Latvian Football Federation (LFF) who will support the initiative in fulfilling the role of key project expert.
Further updates on the project will be presented in the near future both on BFS and its partner social media channels as well as official organisation websites.
Following from the inaugural meeting of the project which took place on the January 2020, a process was set in motion to gather information and assess the current situation in the Baltic Region about the coaching development opportunities. This was facilitated by designing questionnaires which were distributed amongst each project partners` networks to cover broader segment thus obtaining a more objective insight.
In June, a meeting was organised in Valmiera, Latvia to assess the responses gathered from the designed questionnaires. A clear pain point emerged which showcased that coaches in Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia are keen to learn more and take their professional education further but given the lack of accessibility to such opportunities it was not possible which consequently resulted in decreased satisfaction level with the existing situation.
Such insights cemented the project partner belief that a centralised coaching network is required in order to gather the information systematically, allow it to be distributed in a more effective manner and cultivate the conversation and exchange of best practices between the coaches and functionaries. This topic led to multiple discussions at a July meeting in Elva, Estonia which fostered conversations about potential financial structure, exchange of information on the platform and the overall structure of the coaching network.
In July, considering the lessons learned from COVID-19 pandemic, a meeting was held in Liepaja, Latvia, where project partners unanimously agreed that in the light of minimised physical contact with fellow human beings, the gaps surrounding the key project topic was showcased explicitly thus accelerating the urge and need to create a platform which can act as an effective tool to communicate, learn and support the professional development of industry professionals around the Baltic States. Further on, partners exchanged views on content creation and its frequency, engagement between the users and content creators, more sophisticated and sustainable financial model and overall functionality of the platform.
Currently, the work towards providing a solution to the aforementioned problem is underway and various versions and functions of the platform are being tested in order to ensure that it can be presented to a wider audience. More updates to follow soon.
“Regional Coach Training” (REACT) is a project that is led by Baltic Football School and implemented together with its partners FC Elva (Estonia), Siauliai FA (Lithuania) and Valmiera Glass VIA/Valmiera FC (Latvia).
In late July 2020, project partners met in Liepaja, Latvia where discussions were held around functionality of potential coaching network platform with the key idea being to ensure effective remote communication and education opportunities. Since then, the work has taken place to develop a platform which not only covers the needs of its potential users but also satisfies its developers by being financially self-sustainable and valuable to all involved parties.
A meeting was organised in the first week of September by FC Elva in Estonia where lead partner Baltic Football School presented the initial version of electronic platform that facilitates educational and training opportunities for Baltic Region coaches. Each of the regional partners contributed by providing their opinion on how this tool could be integrated in their respective countries considering the needs and peculiarities relevant to their coach segment.
From these discussions an idea emerged to update the e-platform to encourage communication, exchange of knowledge and best practice examples between coaches to ensure intra-regional networking opportunities.
The received feedback and ideas were integrated into the platform and updated version of coaching network was presented a week later in a meeting organised by FC Valmiera in Latvia. There the last minor tweaks to ensure the best possible integration into each country were discussed with the aim being to capture the attention of maximum number of individuals through e-platform`s easy of use and practicality in the day-to-day development of coaches.
The aforementioned changes were considered and, in the weeks, leading up to the scheduled meeting organised by Siauliai FA on the fourth week of September, were integrated into the e-platform. However, due to the circumstances in Baltic Region regarding COVID-19, this project meeting could not take place and therefore had to be cancelled.
As it stands, an official request has been made to European Union to pause the implementation of the project due to the inability to safely host and attend the scheduled meetings given the restrictions set by each of the project partner countries. In the meantime, an active work continues on the backend of the coaching platform and further updates will follow soon.