ONSIDE – EU project to develop new education for sport officials kicks off in Vienna

ONSIDE – EU project to develop new education for sport officials kicks off in Vienna

The 11th and 12th of April 2018 sees the kick-off meeting for a new project funded through the Erasmus+ Sport programme of the European Union. The ONSIDE ‎project will, for the first time, explore the generic skills and competences of sport officials and develop new education courses relevant across all nations and sports in Europe.

Led by the European Observatoire of Sport and Employment (EOSE) and Sports Officials UK, the project partnership also brings together European and national sport federations, a sports council, national Olympic committee and a university.

Sport organisations across the EU, including the 11 partners, recognise the need to enhance the image and recognition of sport officials and provide them the opportunity to enhance their skills through innovative education including new e-learning courses.

Through the project the partners will implement the EOSE 7 Step model for workforce development and apply the model to the area of sport officiating.  The project is aligned with EU policies in sport, education and Employment, in particular promoting education in and through sport ‎with a focus on skills development.

The first meeting of the partners in Vienna, hosted by the European Handball Federation, ensured the partners are familiar with the methodology and work plan for the project which will conclude in 2020 with a European conference on sport officiating.

Given the central role of officials in sport, the project is expected to benefit the whole sport sector ‎and generate significant interest across European sport.

Howard Webb, UEFA Champions League and FIFA World Cup Final referee, and one of the ambassadors for the project said:‎ “Based on my experience in football from grassroots to the World Cup Final, I strongly believe the skills training planned within the project will be beneficial to current sports officials”.

Ben Gittus, Director of Standards for EOSE said ‎”we’re delighted to start work with colleagues from sport officiating on this first EU funded project to explore the generic skills and competence of sport officials in Europe using the lifelong learning strategy promoted by EOSE known as the 7 Step Model”.

Janie Frampton, CEO of Sports Officials UK said “the launch of the project has been amazing, the quality and the experience of the partners is outstanding, SOUK are delighted to be a part of such an innovative exciting project, the first of its kind to focus on officiating”.


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The ONSIDE project is co-funded by the European Commission under the Erasmus+ Collaborative Partnerships in Sport programme. A new website for the project will be launched soon.


Full list of project partners: European Observatoire of Sport and Employment (EOSE), Sports Officials UK (SOUK), Association Française du Corps Arbitral Multisports (AFCAM), European Handball Federation (EHF), European Table Tennis Union (ETTU), European Athletics, SportMalta, Dutch Olympic Committee * Dutch Sports Federation (NOC*NSF), Romanian Football Federation (FRF), British Wheelchair Basketball, National Sports Academy “Vassil Levski”.

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EOSE – European Observatoire of Sport and Employment

A new wave for the sport and active leisure sector

Ensuring the right skills in the right place

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