Coaches from across China spent three months in Bournemouth receiving training from Bournemouth University and AFC Bournemouth
60 coaches from China have successfully completed a three-month football study programme jointly delivered between Bournemouth University and AFC Bournemouth.
The coaches gained skills in coaching football that they will now take back to China, receiving a certificate to mark the completion of their studies over the summer.
The BU China Football Study Programme offered bespoke training, with Bournemouth University running the academic side of the programme and AFC Bournemouth delivering the more hands-on elements of the coaching. BU academics led a programme of lectures and seminars around the principles, psychology and theory behind coaching and management, while the coaches also received practical coaching and conditioning sessions from Premier League AFC Bournemouth coaches and from SportBU (BU’s sporting activity team).
A certification ceremony for the course took place where the coaches received a certificate to mark their achievements from Professor John Vinney, Vice-Chancellor of Bournemouth University. This new international programme is an example of BU’s growing global engagement, which has seen BU named as one of the ‘top 200 most international universities in the world’ in the Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2016.
Dr Sonal Minocha, Pro Vice-Chancellor (Global Engagement) at Bournemouth University, said, “It has been a real pleasure to have these coaches on our campus throughout the summer, learning and being trained by expert Bournemouth University staff, as well as by our partners AFC Bournemouth. This truly has been an excellent global project, and we are delighted to have a new group of friends in China as our links there continue to deepen.
“This work is also another example of how Bournemouth University is operating in an increasingly global way, and we hope that this project, and the links we have built over the last months, will continue to develop moving forward.”
BU made a successful bid for funding from the British Council for the summer training. The project was announced following the UK-China Government Summit in September 2015 and BU was one of only three successful UK Universities from the 35 who put in a bid.
The training programme included coaching in futsal, beach soccer and traditional football skills that the coaches can then use when delivering football training in schools, colleges and universities across China.
Richard Shipway, Senior Principal Academic in the Faculty of Management and Programme Director, said, “The BU China Football Study Programme, jointly delivered by the Department of Sport and Physical Activity (SPA), SportBU and AFC Bournemouth, provided a unique blend of theory and practice in all aspects of Football coaching and management. From an academic perspective, SPA has provided insights across the spectrum of football development, ranging from coaching principles and philosophies, performance analysis and talent identification, to sports physiology, community sport, and sports psychology. These sessions were delivered by internationally renowned academics in these areas. SportBU and its partners delivered a multitude of accredited modules where coaches undertook courses in Beach Soccer, Futsal, Street Soccer and Strength & Conditioning which all put theory into practice.
Richard Shipway continued, “We hope that in conjunction with our partners, BU has been able to contribute towards China’s long-term aspirations of becoming a global Football nation”.
Barry Squires, Business and Partnerships Manager at SportBU, who helped to deliver the training, said, “It has been a real pleasure to host the 60 coaches for the last three months and see they learn from our array of experts and practitioners. Watching the coaches undertake the various modules and see them all complete their FA Level 1 with AFC Bournemouth has been a true pleasure and we wish them all the success in developing grass route football back in China”
Steve Cuss is Head of AFC Bournemouth’s Sports Community Trust and worked on the coaching side of the programme. He said, “The three months has gone really quickly, we’ve put a lot of work in to this project and we are hopeful that they have all of the skills they need to be able to take back home to China, it is great to see them all celebrating today. The level of the coaches really surprised us, it was really high and it has been a real success from day one.”
The Chinese coaching study programme formed part of the China State Council’s plan to boost the development of football in the country, with aims to train 50,000 full-time and part-time football coaches by 2020. The programme is coming at a time of growth in the game in China and with the Chinese government having announced their intention to become a footballing superpower by winning a World Cup by 2050.
While in Bournemouth the coaches also experienced the sights and attractions of the South Coast – with a competition created for the coaches to share their best pictures from their time in Dorset. The winning entries can be viewed on Bournemouth University’s Pinterest board.
To view a video roundup of the certification ceremony, visit Bournemouth University’s YouTube channel.