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PREPARING YOUNG PEOPLE TO BECOME LEADERS IN SPORT PARTICIPATION, ORGANISATION AND MANAGEMENT.
To provide young people the opportunity to stay in sports after their career as athletes is over, recruit and to develop a new generation of volounteers.
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The Norwegian Youth Leadership Programme is a ten year commitment by Norwegian sport to recruit and retain more youth in sport in Norway. The programme will run through the 2016 Youth Olympic Games and is set to conclude in 2022.
The programme aims to retain young people between the ages of 13 and 19 as long as possible within sport into the future, not only as active participants but also as administrators, coaches, managers, referees and volunteers.
The medium of sport is promoted as being particularly effective in helping young people to take ownership of their own activities and education. This is combined with an insistence on involving the young people as much as possible in the process by consulting them on their views and by bringing them into the planning and delivery process.
Actively listening to participants is strongly emphasised by the organisers. To succeed in developing young leaders, the sport clubs, the regional administrations and the national federations take the participants views seriously and incorporate these into many aspects of the project delivery. This approach has seen the development mentoring initiatives and applied task allocation for young people to learn in a more practical and meaningful environment.
Sport as a planning tool
The programme enables young people eager to remain engaged in active sports to balance this with preparing for a future in sport. It promotes the ability of these young participants to influence and manage their own activities through planning their own training every day and setting their own goals for activity and exercise. A fundamental part of this planning process focuses on helping the athlete to combine commitment to sport with schools and higher education in the most effective way possible.
Working with partners
The Norwegian Confederation of Sports (NIF) is the national group representing the national federations of all major sports practiced in Norway. The NIF offers several courses and educational initiatives to physically active young people both directly from under their own administration as well as delivered through their members and regional administrations. In partnership with the Norwegian Olympic and Paralympic Committee, together these partners ensure that there is a structured framework for delivery of educational courses and that as many young people as possible are reached by the programme.
Support active societies
The programme not only promotes participation in sports but also focuses on the simultaneous development of young athletes as future leaders, whether they are coaches, administrators, referees, etc. This feeds into the sporting human infrastructure of society, recognising the fact that for sport to truly thrive, you need more than simply athletes. Societies generally will have a better chance of being active when there are fully motivated, trained and educated people working behind the scenes.
Promote sport and physical activity
The programme engages young athletes that are currently active in sport. It goes further in specifically targeting those interested in remaining active in sport as they come towards the end of their athletic peak. It provides these young athletes with the tools they need to achieve alongside their existing training regimes. This enables these young people to remain actively engaged in physical sporting activity while simultaneously building for a future career in sport.
The communication of the programme is handled by the central administration at the NIF. This central office liaises directly with all 54 national member federations as well as the 19 regional administrations involved in the project. These bodies then communicate directly to their constituent clubs who market the programme to their members and other interested stakeholders.
Each individual course is evaluated separately by the organisers. This involves assessing the progress that is seen within each educational course across a range of qualitative discussion factors, including the impact being seen within participants and the level of participant interaction.