PROLead is a collaborative partnership Erasmus+ project coordinated by EU Athletes. Partnership include German Sport University Cologne and 8 player associations from different countries and sports. Focusing on the topic of dual careers of athletes, the project aims to enhance leadership skills of athletes, as well as volunteers and staff of player associations, by designing and implementing leadership courses at the European and national level.
The project started in 2020 with research and consultation phase, concluded with the report the delivery of a Report following the desktop research and literature review of leadership education for athletes. This research, as well as the player associations expertise, contributed to the preparation of the European Leadership Course. The successful example of the Jim Madden Leadership Programme implemented by the Gaelic Players Association, who is one of the project partners, also served as an important source of inspiration to the project team.
Second phase of the project focused on the European Leadership Course for player associations staff and volunteers and have been delivered via online sessions due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic. 32 participants from 20 player associations and 10 European countries actively participated in 12 modules delivered between January and June 2021.
Thanks to highly competent facilitators, the modules offered a broader understanding of topics related to personal development and leadership: personal skills and self-awareness, leadership behaviour and styles, trust and engagement, communication skills, inter and intrapersonal skills, organisational culture, leadership in action, flexibility and adaptability, crisis and change management. Additionally, the Course included panel discussions with distinguished leaders from and outside sport.
The goal of the Course was for the participants to develop their own leadership skills but also to prepare them in order to be able to organize national leadership courses for their member athletes. To help with that, the final modules focused on the design and delivery of leadership courses. The final module held on the 14th of June allowed the participants to reflect on their journey so far, to exchange between themselves and receive valuable feedback from the project staff.
The project is now entering a new phase: design and delivery of 7 national leadership courses for athletes in 6 different countries. Building up on the project’s results so far, these courses will be based on the European Leadership Course. Each project partner, with the support of staff, will work in order to adapt the course to their sport and country.