Cyprus Mail

Programme offers to train sports professionals to support athletes

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European University Cyprus has announced its participation in the Erasmus+ “Gamified and Online Activities for Learning to Support Player Development Managers” (GOAL4PDM), programme. The programme aims to upgrade the knowledge and skills of sports professionals to specialise in supporting the dual career of athletes.

“Today the task of professionals involved in the development of young athletes is more complex than in the past,” the university explained.

In addition to the specialised guidance needed to maximise their sporting performance, young sportsmen and sportswomen also need counselling.

The concept of Player Development Manager (PDM) is new in the context of sport in Cyprus, and concerns a person who works with athletes by consulting with them on the daily personal, social and professional issues they face.

“Counselling from people they trust can ensure a balanced life and will help achieve personal goals, both on and off the field. At the same time, it empowers young people to develop that culture that will ensure a successful personal and professional life after their sporting career is over,” European university said.

Institutions and organisations from Greece, Italy, Spain, Portugal, Germany, Italy, Spain, Portugal, Germany and Lithuania are the other participants in the project.

The purpose of GOAL4PDM is to train coaches, sports psychologists, physical education teachers, PE and sport students, former athletes, etc. to support athletes on issues related to their personal development, professional orientation, and entrepreneurship.

A Virtual Community of Practice (VCP) where stakeholders in the GOAL4PDM project can share information, discuss and collaborate on issues related to the development and qualifications of the Player Development Manager will be created as part of the project.

Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) relevant to the needs and dual careers of young athletes as well as an Online Toolkit in the form of digital interactive content and apps for young people will also be established.

The toolkit will include informative materials (such as slides, reading materials, quizzes, videos, etc.), as well as minigames, and aims to educate players/athletes.

The role of European University Cyprus in the project and its research contribution is mainly focused on two dimensions. First, conducting research at local and European level on the training needs of sports professionals who may also have the role of Player Development Officer, and also creating digital educational material to support professionals in the field.

More information about GOAL4PDM, can be found on the official website of the programme at:

The research team consists of the following members of the European University Cyprus faculty: Monica Siako, Associate Professor, Educational Psychology, School of Education, Humanities and Social Sciences , Andreas Avgerinos Assistant Professor, Pedagogy in Physical Education, School of Sciences , Antonis Alexopoulos Lecturer, Sports Sociology, School of Sciences, Philip Christodoulou, Specialist, School of Sciences and Mr. Efthymis Kiumourtzoglou, Basketball Coach.

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