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The Association of International Sport for All (TAFISA) Certified Leadership Course (CLC) jointly offered in collaboration with the African Union Sports Council (AUSC) Region 5 ended on Saturday 12 September 2020.  The thirty-two hour course started on 15 July and ended on 12 September after eight weeks.  Fourteen out of twenty three participants drawn from eight countries successfully completed the online course.

 

Participants to the course were carefully selected from a pool of over fifty applications received from eight of the ten English-speaking Region 5 Member Countries.  Only Mozambique and Angola did not have participants in this inaugural virtual course.

 

For one to be fully certified, they are required to complete both the theory and practical of the course.  This enables them to apply the principles learnt during the course.  Participants are expected to develop and implement a Sport for All case study drawn out of the thirteen modules that they studied during the thirty-two hour course.   The modules were sport for all and physical activity, target groups in sport for all; leadership in sport for all, inclusive sport and physical activity, women in sport for all, clean sport for all, event management, community club formation and management, safe sport and child rights in sport for all, strategy development in sport for all, marketing and public relations in sport for all, communication and managing finances.

Twelve facilitators were carefully selected from a pool of seasoned sport administrators and trainers drawn from regional sport bodies, government sport ministries, scholars and the private sector. The facilitators volunteered their time and expertise and worked tirelessly for the duration of the course to assist the participants to grasp the concepts and successfully complete the course. The Region will forever be indebted to these dedicated individuals.

This Certified Leadership Course (CLC) is an internationally accredited TAFISA course which is geared to equip Sport for All practitioners with the relevant skills and competencies to assist them to effectively plan and implement community-based sport for all programmes. The course was offered through two (2) hours of training per day, for two days a week, during a period spanning eight (8) weeks. The pedagogy of the course included facilitation sessions including group workshops and individual assignments as part of the requirements for successful completion.

The Region was delighted that most participants fulfilled the requirements and ethos of the course.  This was largely made possible by the limited technical glitches caused by inconsistent internet connectivity and intermittent electricity power cuts in some of the Member Countries.

In his key note address during the closing ceremony, the AUSC Region 5 Chairman, Dr Vetumbuavi Veii said: “We need to express our gratitude to TAFISA for agreeing to partner with Region 5, a relationship which gave birth to exciting programmes including this course.  We look forward to witnessing our participants implementing the Sport for All programme in their various communities.”  Dr. Veii lamented the fact that several people had undergone various training programmes but very few of them had the diligence and resolve to implement their newly acquired knowledge for the benefit of sport.  He hoped that participants from the class of 2020 would positively impact their communities. “We hope to contribute towards reduction of lifestyle illnesses in the long-run due to increased sport for all programmes.”

The TAFISA Business development and Fundraising Manager, Keri McDonald commended Region 5 for being the trailblazer globally in offering an online CLC.  The rest of the world would follow in the footsteps of Region 5 in replicating this good practice.  “On behalf of the TAFISA president and Secretary General who could not join us today, I wish to congratulate Region 5 for being a real leader in driving the sport for all cause,” said McDonald.

Region 5 and TAFISA challenged the course participants to use the various sport for all events such as the upcoming TAFISA World Walking Day planned for the 4th of October 2020 as an opportunity to put into practice all the skills they learnt during the course. It is hoped that all participants will take part in this historic virtual Sport for All event meant to motivate the world to be physically active in a global relay.

TAFISA Certified Leadership Courses in Sport for All was developed to train and qualify national Sport for All leaders around the globe.  Since its inception in 2007, and with the IOC support since 2010, more than 50 TAFISA International and National CLCs have been successfully hosted by TAFISA members and NOCs all over the world, resulting in an international network of more than 1000 graduates.

Participants in the CLC will receive a certificate of completion, signed by both AUSC Region 5 and TAFISA, documenting their successful completion of the course.  The AUSC Region 5 aims to train conduct one national sports for all course per country in order to build critical mass in the delivery of sport for all programmes and activities.  Priority will be given to the youth and teachers who will be expected to coordinate community sports programmes with the communities they reside in. The next intake of 2021 will be announced in due course. Those that aspire to practise as Sport for All administrators are urged to keep on the lookout for the announcement.

The AUSC Region 5 has been leading from the front with regards to innovative and sustainable sport under the COVID-19 induced restrictions.  To date, Region 5 has introduced an online programme – “The Morning Doctor” which runs every Wednesday to provide health, lifestyle, nutrition, exercise and training guidelines for athletes and individuals who have found themselves affected by the various lockdown restrictions in Region 5 Member Countries.  In addition to the “Morning Doctor”, Region 5 has also introduced a Friday e-Fitness programme that helps keep people physically active and aims to reduce sedentary lifestyles among members of the public, athletes and sportspeople alike.  This is living up to the Region 5 mantra; that of being, “A leading home of Innovation and Excellence”

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