In February 2019, Leipzig University’s International Coaching Courses (ITK) will offer programmes for trainers in Benin, Tanzania and Mexico. These “ITK pathfinder projects” are designed to support local coaches and sports teachers and at the same time draw attention to the unrivalled intensive further education programme at the Faculty of Sport Science in Leipzig. The current projects, involving the sports of handball, football and athletics, are possible thanks to the commitment of successful ITK graduates and the ITK’s collaboration with German and international sports organisations and ministries.
The International Coaching Courses aim to help coaches in developing and emerging countries to help themselves and to spread the Olympic and Paralympic values. The Leipzig graduates are trained in their capacity as multipliers of these values and receive support with setting up sports structures in their home countries even after graduating from the ITK. “The founding of our ITK Alumni Ambassador project in 2014 was a groundbreaking initiative to increase the international visibility of sports science in Leipzig and our International Coaching Courses. The projects in February show that this initiative, now in its fifth year, and our intensive alumni work are already bearing fruit,” says Daniel Eckert-Lindhammer, who is in charge of international relations at the Faculty of Sport Science.
The ITK pathfinder project in Tanzania, for example, was born from the commitment of ITK 201 graduate Tuntufye Mwambusi. For seven days, up to 40 football coaches will be trained in Dar es Salaam by experts from the Saxon Football Association. RB Leipzig player Yussuf Poulsen is the patron of this project. “We are delighted that with Yussuf Poulsen and the Saxon Football Association we have secured the strongest partners for successfully implementing the project and to ensure its long-term impact,” explains Eckert-Lindhammer.
On the initiative of the ITK alumnus Aldo Rigis Gnonlonfoun, the participants of the two-week programme in Porto-Novo (Benin) will be trained in personality development in handball as well as receiving methodological and professional instruction in movement, project management and sports organisation. This project is being implemented by the ITK’s handball and young talent expert Daniel Andrä in cooperation with INJEPS, a university institution for the training of sports teachers, as well as the Association Sportive Omnisport Modèle and Benin’s national handball federation.
In Mexico, the ITK pathfinder project is taking place in close cooperation with ITK México, an alumni association founded in 2017. One special feature is an intensive seminar at two different locations in the country – Puebla and Veracruz. More than 100 Mexican sports teachers and coaches will receive further training in fitness and speed training. This ITK pathfinder project is the first large-scale further training project of the ITK alumni association in Mexico. Besides the German Embassy in Mexico City, the project also involves state sports institutes in Puebla and Veracruz.