Peak Symposium: The Future of Coaching



PEAK is a new, international project aiming to develop coaching policy recommendations for use by sport federations, coaching bodies and governments. Bringing together a unique consortium of expert partners, including the International Council for Coaching Excellence,The German Sport University Cologne, European Elite Athletes Association, Finnish Olympic Committee, Sport Ireland Coaching

Swiss Federal Institute of Sport, and the Foundation of Sport Education and Information, Estonia.


PEAK will offer, for the first time, a comprehensive picture of coaching and coach education across Europe, and beyond. It will tells us about coaching roles, responsibilities, and status, as well as policies, programmes and decision-making processes. It will report on strategies to increase opportunities for women in coaching, and to enhance the effectiveness of good governance measures (such as transparency of decision-making, democratic and inclusive decision-making processes) in the practice of sport coaching?



The iCoachKids Conference in Limerick is the setting of the first PEAK Symposium, which will be an opportunity for coaches, coach educators and anyone interested or involved in sports coaching to meet and learn. The theme of the symposium is: the Future of Coaching. 


Three speakers, well-known in sport and coaching, will lead the meeting:

·       Hayley Harrison, Coach Education Officer, Sport Ireland Coaching, Ireland

·       Dr Karen Petry, Institute for European Sports Development and Leisure Research, Germany

The volunteer female coach in Ireland


Hayley Harrison, Coach Education Officer, Sport Ireland Coaching, Ireland



The aim of the short presentation is to highlight the scale and responsibility levels of volunteer female coaches in Ireland. The profiles of 3 female volunteer coaches (& the sectors they represent) will be shared with the group and comment will be made on the percentage of female coaches in the Irish system at each of the coaching levels. Brief mention will be made of the professionalism of coaching and its’ effect on the number of female coaches within professional sports systems. Finally some questions will be posed for consideration regarding the proposed ‘way forward’ for female coaches in Ireland. Due to the length of the presentation, attendees at the PEAK symposium will be actively engaged in the presentation, but it will not be practical in nature.

Coaching Policy Across the European Union


Dr Karen Petry, Institute for European Sports Development and Leisure Research, Germany



Coaches reach, influence and educate thousands of sportspeople every day in Europe, be it at the grassroots, elite or recreational levels. Yet, despite this enormous reach and importance, the policies surrounding coaching are not always rigorously researched and often lack a guiding framework.

Presenting an overview of coaching policy across a selection of European countries, the goal of this presentation is to summarise key elements of coaching policy across the countries while using those findings to map out a framework to inform good practices in coaching policy. Based on the preliminary results of an extensive literature review and expert interviews, the presentation will introduce findings related to the governance and regulation of coaching, the nature of the coaching workforce, the representation of coaches, and the education of coaches. Then, using the findings from these various areas, first ideas on a framework for good practice will be introduced and be used to support further discussion with attendees and stakeholders.


Dr Richard Bailey, International Council of Sport Science and Physical Education, Germany 


Richard Bailey’s research focuses on the interface between sport, health and human development. A martial arts and cricket coach, and a University Professor, he is now based in Berlin, Germany, working as senior researcher at the International Council of Sport Science and Physical Education, collaborating with leading national and international agencies, such as UNESCO, OECD, and the International Olympic Committee. The author of 30 books, and more than 100 academic articles, Richard’s recent publications have explored the effect of physical activity on educational achievement, ‘neuromyths’ in sports coaching, and the role of personal meaning in coaches’ professional development.

On the web:

Twitter: @DrDickB

Facebook: Coaching Science 


Adrian Byrne