What is it about?

Sporting organisations and educational institutions can benefit greatly by working together to promote greater participation in sport. Through sporting activities, young people can learn to be part of a team and accept the principle of fair play, as well as establish healthy behaviours and lifestyles.

This kind of collaboration also helps to increase the numbers of qualified coaches and professionals in the sector.

Why is it needed?

The European Commission has acknowledged that the quality of physical education programmes and the qualifications of the teachers and trainers involved are a concern in a number of Member States.

More extensive interaction between sport and education across Europe is needed to promote the mutual sharing of best practice and help to:

  • Improve the quality of physical education programmes and enhance teachers’ competences and skill levels.
  • Provide young high-level athletes with quality education alongside their sport training, helping them to both study and compete.
  • Boost qualifications and their transparency and recognition for staff in the sports sector.

What has been done so far?

The EU published Developing the European Dimension in Sport in 2011, which underlined attempts to modernise teacher training, improve health-enhancing physical activity at school, and increase the inclusion of students with a disability in mainstream physical education.

Two EU-wide studies, addressing the training of young sportsmen and sportswomen in Europe and the education of young sportspeople, were commissioned to provide young sportspeople with information on how they could prepare for a new career once they retired from professional sports.

The EU Expert Group on Education and Training in Sport  explores ways of promoting qualifications gained by coaches, volunteers, and elite athletes through non-formal (sport-specific courses by federations) and informal (learning in practice) methods, leading to the European Qualification Framework (EQF).

What are the next steps?

From 2014-2020, the EU will support sport through the Erasmus+ programme.