Leadership Education



What makes an Open Fun Football School (OFFS) youth leader different from an "ordinary” football coach?

An OFFS-coach is aware of the power of football for this development and actively responds to it, with every training session, and for every player he or she accompanies. What this means exactly is different for every coach in practice.

The OFFS-coach profile and education offer coaches a philosophy, a child-centred and community-based approach, a specific fun football methodology and starting points, with which he or she can individually develop themselves (self-assessment) and apply the fun football methodology in his or her own context (action plan).

The OFFS-volunteer profile consists of five roles that each OFFS-volunteer fulfils:

Three roles are obligatory: Football Coach, Role Model, Life Skills Coach.

Two roles are conditional: Community Organizer and Trainer of Trainers

The profile of an OFFS-leaders / coach

To put it different, an OFFS-volunteer (man or woman) organizes fun football in applying to the Cross Cultures childcentred and community-based fun football approach.

  • Be good in her/his communication with the players and their parents, their colleagues and other important stakeholders.
  • Adapt her/his drills so they apply to the learners cognitive development, their skills-level and know how to bring the learners from A-B. (pedagogical and didactical)
  • Cooperate with other volunteers to create a safe and secure learning environment for children and youth, both on and outside off the pitch.
  • Organizes fun football activities applying to Cross Cultures Integrated learning approach head-heart-skills.
  • Develops basic life skills of her/his players.
  • Signals social problems and deals with them in the right way.
  • Shares her/his knowledge and transfers it to others.
  • Is a role model both on and off the playground.
  • Works on her/his own development as a youth-coach.
  • Engages parents and other stakeholders.

Cross Cultures Youth Leadership Education

The Cross Cultures Youth Leadership Education is an action learning process that supports the development of the local OFFS-coach from Introductory OFFS-level, via club-formation and sport event management to the final level as Community Organizer and/or Trainer-of-Trainers.

Through the Cross Cultures Youth Leadership Education, all local OFFS-volunteers are trained in Cross Cultures specific approach to fun football and life skills coaching and are introduced to the same methodology.

STEP 1: An introductory OFFS-level comprises 3-days of training at a regional volunteer seminar + 5-days on the job coaching + Individual feedback (in total 60-hours). After this education and supported by the local organisation and their supervisors these OFFS-volunteers can organize basic fun football and life skills training for their players and collaborate with other colleagues and relevant stakeholders across societal barriers in their areas.

STEP 2: Based on their experience, motivation and progress, coaches are selected to continue to an advancing club-level. During a 4-day training seminar plus additional tailormade workshops the OFFS-volunteers on this level are guided by their supervisors from Cross Cultures and the local Sport-for-All-Federation through a club-formation process. The new OFFS-clubs must as minimum apply to the fundamental principles:

  1. Have statutes with a charitable purpose.
  2. A board of minimum three persons that are elected by its members at a yearly general assembly.
  3. Be non-profit and financially transparent.
  4. Be open for all (gender, skill level, ethnic, social backgrounds etc).
  5. Have active memberships.
  6. Have defined their individual living rules which amongst other must include adequate safe guarding principles.

(In this context it is important to emphasize that the purpose of each OFFS-club is up to the volunteers themselves to decide. They can do football or other sports, collect stamps, play theatre etc. Thus, what matters to Cross Cultures is the form rather than the content, and that the clubs are open, transparent and democratic praxis).

STEP 3: After some experience time on OFFS-level and day-to-day praxis at club-level, a selected group of committed volunteers will further be invited to continue to a Sport Event Management level. This level will amongst other contains 4-days training in social entrepreneurship, fundraising skills and personal leadership.

Following the seminar, the volunteers must go home and organise their own sport event from A-till-Z.

Cross Cultures Education Pyramid

Inter-linkages between open Fun football schools and KNVB and the shiraka Programme

On the above background, I see common interest and common synergies between Cross Cultures ongoing activities in the MENA region and KNVB’s upcoming Shiraka initiative

  1. Cross Cultures mobilises a cohort of young people and educates them to organize Open Fun Football Schools (OFFS) and other community-based Sport for Change activities, on a voluntary basis, for children and youth in their local communities.

The trained Open Fun Football School leaders and coaches organise regular Fun Football and other Sport for Change activities for children and youth in their local communities.

On this basis the “best” coaches will be shortlisted by KNVB for advanced learning:

3. The young volunteers which is of interest of KNVB must be young unemployed people. (In Tunisia we have for example great success of enrolling educated but unemployed school teachers). KNVB in cooperation with your Egyptian partner will offer the shortlisted volunteers leadership skills development and tailor-made vocational training to improve their employability.

4. At least 30% of the children are either orphans or children from poor families. KNVB in cooperation with War Child will offer relevant psycho social training of the shortlisted coaches as well as facilitate relevant psycho-social activities incl. child safe-guarding in sport.

5. Many young coaches would like to further improve their football coaching skills. KNVB and the World Coaches initiative will educate and endorse such grassroots coach training (equivalent to c-lincense) and endorse the coaches which is also aiming to improve their employability.