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Educating coaches: Developing human capital in an emerging industry
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Paper presented at the Asia-Pacific Education Research Association (APERA) Conference, Singapore, 26-28 November 2008.
The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) established that human capital development is one of the essential inputs that contribute significantly to the economic and human well-being of a nation. Investing in human capital is therefore a necessity for industry development and economic growth.
Sports is an emerging industry sector. In Asia-Pacific market alone, experts projected a 77% growth in the sports market from US$13.7 billion in 2006 to US$17.7 billion in 2011. As Singapore positions itself to capture this potential market through government’s support and investment in developing the sports sector mainly through infrastructure development and sports events programming, it is critical that ample attention be paid to the development of human capital. Industry development requires more competent manpower in various disciplines.
Sports coaching is an identified area for human capital to be developed. This paper examines the policy and structural changes that affect coach education in Singapore. Together with an environmental scan of coach education in a few leading countries, it explores ways to provide more avenues as well as relevant approaches for professional development of coaches. The paper concludes with a call for careful attention to be given to the following:
1. Leadership in national-level sports policy on coaching development and coach education;
2. Alignment and synergy in sports policy and educational policy in supporting further development of human capital in the sports coaching; and
3. The role of tertiary educational institutions in providing avenues for professional development of coaches
4. Further professional development of coaches at higher education level should pay attention to the approach to be adopted and be both relevant and contextualized to the coaching practice.
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