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Kirstie Simpson, Associate Professor and Deputy Dean in the University’s Business School is the Course Director for S2A Sport Mobility (also known as Enhancing the Skills of Sport Administrators through International Learning Mobility), a project that aims to develop the skills of sport administrators working in paid and volunteer roles. The project contributes to the capacity building of a wide variety of sport organisations and the development of the whole sport workforce across Europe.

The project is co-ordinated by the European Observatoire for Sport and Employment (EOSE), a European member organisation that Kirstie will become President of in January – the first female to be elected to this role. The project has eight partners including three National Olympic Committees (Kosovo, Albania and North Macedonia), three universities (the University of Chester, UCLouvain in Belgium and the University of Montenegro) as well as the European Association for Sport Management (EASM).

Funded by the European Commission, the S2A Sport Mobility project has been developed to reduce the gap between current and required skills of sport administrators; create conditions to increase uptake of learning mobility and make it a reality for sport; invest in human capital and contribute to capacity building of sport organisations; promote international dimension of sport and encourage transregional cooperation and enhance physical activity and health outcomes through effective sport administrators. Kirstie is delivering three training weeks as the overall Course Director. The training weeks were originally planned to be hosted by European partners and take place in person in Albania, North Macedonia and Montenegro but due to the pandemic delivery has pivoted to online.

Ali Burkett, Development Officer in the University’s Sport and Active Lifestyle Department, is taking part in the programme. Her role currently involves supporting Athletics’ Union clubs with training and fixtures, as well as developing the University’s recreational Active Campus initiative.

She said: “This course has increased my confidence and inspired me to become a more strategic thinker and effective leader. The ability to share and reflect on best practice with colleagues from all over Europe has been very rewarding. The University community will benefit from this exchange as our Sport and Active Lifestyle team work to develop the services we offer to all staff and students.”

Kirstie said: “The National Olympic Committees involved in this project identified key skills gaps in relation to strategy, leadership and communication. To improve sport and physical activity outcomes in communities across Europe we need strategic thinkers, who are creative and passionate leaders and who can communicate impact effectively. This is exactly the type of sport administrator that this course aims to develop.”

 

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