Life is movement: the SPEACH Project

The SPEACH Project aims to educate future sport professionals by developing ‘Health Enhancing Physical Activity’ (HEPA) modules that can be integrated in existing Physical Education Teaching Educations and Sport Coaching Educations. The consortium behind the project, consisting of ten institutes and networks from seven EU countries, intends to have these sport professionals ultimately stimulate their young pupils and have an health enhancing effect on European society in an age where sedentariness is a cross-national problem. Co-funded by the Erasmus+ Programme of the European Commission, the SPEACH Project will run until the end of 2017.

Professor Johan de Jong (Hanze University of Applied Sciences, Groningen): “The SPEACH Project was considered a best practise in the first cohort of Erasmus+/sport projects, partially because of the high potential impact it has. We have specifically chosen to develop modules to be integrated in existing education to be able to reach high numbers of future professionals without changing the educational system in any of the countries. By combining knowledge from England, Spain, Portugal, Belgium, Lithuania, Denmark, and The Netherlands in the shape of experts from ten institutes and networks in the field of sport education and coaching the project has European-wide potential.”

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To understand the European needs from the field of ‘Physical Education Teaching Education’ (PETE) and ‘Sport Coaching Education’ (SCE) a 3-step approach was developed. 21 educational institutes in the 7 participating countries where targeted to survey their students on HEPA related matters. During the bi-annual conference of the European Network of Sport Science, Education & Employment (ENSSEE) an international focus group of experts reflected on survey results and as a final step multiple national experts in each participating country were interviewed. The full results of this 3-step approach are expected later this year and will be used for the development of HEPA modules.

The consortium, of which the European Network of Sport Science, Education & Employment (ENSSEE) is an important part, is currently focused on analysing the aforementioned results and increasingly on the module development. After this development next steps to take include teacher training, piloting, reviewing, and validating. To stay updated or to find out more about the project visit the SPEACH website or follow @SPEACHproject on Twitter. Interested parties can contact the project organisation through the website.