Why does the IOC support the TAFISA Sport Leadership course?

Ray Sweeney, CEO of the Disability Karate Federation, blogs about the upcoming TAFISA Sport Leadership Course and why it's important the sector develops its future leaders.

Just a few generations ago, physical activity was an integral part of daily life but recent research is showing that as economies develop, physical activity declines.  The economic costs are unacceptable; in just six countries (China, India, the U.K., the U.S., Russia and Brazil), the cost of declining physical activity is estimated to be more than £170 billion a year.

The human costs are unforgiveable; failure to gain good grades at school, the related rise in the number of NEETs (not in employment, education or training), outcomes for NEETs into criminal behaviour, rising obesity, increasing levels of chronic disease and illness are all being linked to a lack of physical activity.

Increasingly, countries cannot sustain the heavy cost to society in terms of healthcare which is most ably demonstrated by today’s children probably being the first to have a shorter life expectancy to that of their parents.  All of this is evidenced as being linked to declining levels of physical activity

From the outset, our work in the registered charity, The Disability Karate Federation (DKF) has been firmly focussed on people who are disabled, disadvantaged or living with poverty.  We were founded to create social change and we made the athlete the centre of what we do rather than trying to sell people a sport offer.  Our philosophy is “We don’t instruct karate; we coach people” and this ethos has provided highly successful strategies which have led to rapid growth in our organisation and the adoption of cutting edge technology. We use the iconic nature of martial arts to engage disadvantaged people in learning about such diverse topics as good nutrition, healthy lifestyles, technology, communications, social media and inclusive communities.

We believe that change needs to come and the new strategies from Sport England, the Department of Health and the DCMS are a big step in the right direction, moving the focus onto inactive people, grass roots sport and sustaining physical activity.  Clearly, interventions with inactive people have a greater effect than creating more opportunities for people who are already active.

Several years ago our philosophy looked very different to most mainstream organisations and this led us to contact the International Olympic Committee (IOC) member TAFISA (The Association For International Sport for All) whose ambitions in developing change makers and new leaders in sport for all were an obvious fit with our own strategies. 

At this critical time in changing physical activity strategies, the IOC backed TAFISA to develop a new generation of leaders in sport with an IOC accredited TAFISA Certified Leadership Course to train and qualify sport leaders around the globe.

In conjunction with TAFISA the DKF will offer this innovative course in Oxford to showcase research and development in the global sport for all and physical activity sector whilst offering plenty of opportunities to debate, exchange experience and network

An international expert will cover the philosophy of sport and social capital and will present “designed to move – a global physical activity agenda” with reference to target groups and active cities

Topics will include public health and physical activity, strategy development and programme development. Administration and economic management will all be covered on the course as well as how to plan and manage large scale events.  The course will present sports marketing campaigns, public relations and communications and certified by the IOC and TAFISA it is designed for a new generation of leaders who can make the social change and shape the new policies that are needed in today’s societies

The consequences of physical inactivity compound across generations, as physically inactive children grow up to pass the costs and behaviours on to their own children

We need to make change now and develop new strategies, before it is too late

The TAFISA Certified Leadership Course provides an IOC supported certificate of education and CPD for governmental and non-governmental sport bodies, National Olympic Committees, government ministries, sport clubs, councils and schools

Course Details

Dates: 8th to 12th November 2016

Cost £250 including accommodation

Organizer: Disability Karate Federation in conjunction with TAFISA

Ray Sweeney