On the evening of Saturday 19th October, the World Academy of Sport (WAoS) announced the inaugural winner of its ‘International Award for Excellence in Sports Education’ at the Manchester Sports Awards.
The winner was unveiled as Olympian Rebekah Wilson who was given the Award for her work in upskilling young people, diversifying the delivery of sport and education, and youth crime reduction initiatives through her role at the Diane Modahl Sports Foundation, based in Manchester.
Rebekah, who is known to her friends and colleagues as 'Bex', is a British former Bobsleigh brakewoman who competed in the two-woman Bobsleigh team at the 2014 Winter Olympics.
Speaking about winning the International Award for Excellence in Sports Education, Rebekah says: “This Award is a proud recognition of the hard work that myself and the team at the Diane Modahl Foundation have put in over the past 10 years. The world of sport has been my home and opened doors that I could only dream about as a young person. I want to thank all those who have and continue to support me so that I can wake up each day doing what I love - engaging, educating and empowering the next generation to grow up and do great, great things.”
Award Judge Sir Philip Craven, the former President of the International Paralympic Committee says: 'Passion and Inspiration can often be just words, but here we see them, through Rebekah's amazing work, materialise in teaching life skills through sport to marginalised groups of young people. Many congratulations to Rebekah!'
The two joint runner ups of the Award were: Tan Teck Hock, whose work with student-athlete programmes at the Singapore Sports School (a WAoS accredited Athlete Friendly Education Centre) allows student-athletes to remain supported in their sports pursuits while continuing with their education; and Ghizela Enslin, Coaches Manager at Tennis South Africa, who helps to increase opportunities for the more inclusive development of tennis coaches in her region.
“I was impressed by Teck Hock’s passion to use various methods to ensure that each student excels not only in both sports and academia, but also in life skills. He is obviously willing to share his knowledge with others,” says Award Judge, Molly Rhone, the former President of the International Netball Federation, “and I congratulate him on becoming the joint runner up for this Award.”
“Meanwhile, Ghizela’s work in South Africa is helping female tennis coaches to overcome inequalities in education, poverty, unemployment and ethnicity through excellence in coaching,” says Award Judge Helene Raynsford, British Paralympic Association Athletes' Commission Chair and a Paralympic Gold Medallist and World Champion in Rowing. “Her approach of working tirelessly to further the programme and support the sport rather than looking for accolades shone through in her nomination. She is a very worthy joint runner up in this inaugural WAoS award which had a very competitive shortlist.”
Chris Solly, Managing Director of WAoS, is delighted with how the industry has responded to and engaged with the first edition of the International Award for Excellence in Sports Education. “I would like congratulate everyone involved in making the first edition of this Award a great success and thank all the nominees for sharing their amazing stories with our judging panel. On behalf of WAoS, I would like to extend my hearty congratulations to our first winner Rebekah Wilson, whose work at the Diane Modahl Sports Foundation based in our beloved Manchester has been inspirational. In the coming months, Rebekah will receive exclusive access to an appropriate training or development opportunity offered by WAoS that will be tailored to her individual needs. Additionally, I would like to thank Manchester City Council for allowing us to host this Award at their truly inspirational event.”
+44 0161 639 0950
World Academy of Sport
Unit 10, 3 Bromham Place
Route Suisse 8A
52 Granby Row
Many activities have been established to support the IOC’s Games Department and OCOGs through applying several WAoS methodologies. For example, The Games Experience Programme, developed to provide unique behind the scenes learning for the major event industry, Learning Pathways have been established and implemented in OCOGs along with online learning, case studies, train the trainer and executive education programmes among others and all underpinned by ‘Censeo’, the WAoS Learning Platform.
OGKM evolved in 2020 to now be known as Information, Knowledge and Games Learning (IKL). This evolution provides a refreshed focus on learning for the future of Games Management activities.
Through planning with WAoS over 18 months, a strategy was constructed to develop the Olympic Games Learning Model (OGLM) to better service each respective Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games (OCOG) and instil a passion for ‘learning and sharing’. Subsequent to the strategy development, WAoS has worked as the education provider to OGKM to develop and implement a number of learning services across the IOC Games Management Team and with future OCOGs.
Formerly Olympic Games Knowledge Management (OGKM), this area of the International Olympic Committee was responsible for the capture, configuration and disemination of knowledge related to Games delivery. Following London 2012, OGKM was poised to embark on a new strategy, namely OGKM 3.0. Learning was an important aspect that was focused on within the natural evolution of OGKM, and therefore a conversation with WAoS was instigated to develop this new approach.
Information, Knowledge and Games Learning (IKL)
IPC Academy Excellence Programme
IPC Academy Inclusion Summit
Player Pathway Programme
Here is a diverse selection of various projects that we have created and delivered
Bahrian Olympic Committee (BOC)
Sports Authority of Thailand
Badminton World Federation (BWF)
International Tennis Federation (ITF)
Information, Knowledge and Games Learning (IKL)
Athlete Pathway Programme
The 3x3 School Hoops pilot project garnered significant interest from 16 Greater Manchester area schools and considerable participation from both girls and boys. With the success of the 3x3 School Hoops Festival, social media coverage and Press Releases distributed through FIBA.basketball drew attention and impressions to the 3x3 School Hoops programme. The programme is now expanding through roll-out in other UK cities and other countries thereafter.
Through WAoS’ longstanding relationship with the city of Manchester and the participation of Basketball England, the FIBA Academy (a joint venture between FIBA and World Academy of Sport) developed a 6 month programme, establishing a training framework to engage schools and develop resources for teachers and students to implement 3x3 in schools throughout the city. WAoS developed and delivered training sessions, learning materials, drills books, exercises and curriculums for physical education classes in local schools. The programme culminated in an outdoor 3x3 School Hoops festival hosted at Manchester City’s iconic Etihad Stadium on July 12 2019, with the participation of FIBA 3x3 skills gold medal winner Dahlia Monteiro.
With 3x3 basketball set to become the newest Olympic discipline at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, the opportunity was there to create a grassroots mass participation programme engaging local schools, communities and the National Federation. The discipline, as the world’s most played urban team sport, provided an excellent platform to showcase WAoS’ People Development methodology, by training Ambassadors, Physical Education Coaches and students thereby increasing participation in youth sports and leveraging interest in 3x3 basketball locally.
Our Sports Partners:
Feedback throughout 2019 was extremely positive and the ITF has now embarked on further engagement with its members to make use of the tools that the ITF Academy provides.
Following a selective competitive tender, WAoS was identified as the stand-out respondent to the requirements of the large technology project that was envisioned given our tried and tested learning platform, our understanding of the needs of international sport federations and our approach to partnership. The design of the ITF Academy was instigated which entailed the provision of a simple self-publishing eLearning SaaS solution, a complete rebuild of iCoach - with additional features to future proof the system - and an overhaul of coaching certification and on-court-assessments. Naturally, the approach was undertaken in a responsive context with the site now recognised as significant in the digital portfolio of the ITF. It was also the first partnership to apply the new ITF brand allowing a partner to implement this for the first time.
The ITF recognised the need to update its coaching processes to better utilise digital technologies and further enhance its service offering to all member nations. Additionally, its successful but dated iCoach platform (which provided rich video content and resources to tennis coaches around the world), was increasingly becoming difficult to maintain given technologies had moved on dramatically from when it was first developed in the mid-2000s.
Following the successful Observers Programmes in Beijing 2008 and Vancouver 2010, the IPC Academy identified that there was a broader group of organisations and individuals that could be serviced through an expanded programme and also enhance the existing offering of the Observers Programme. Traditionally, the Observers Programme was delivered throughout the Paralympic Games and provided the opportunity for future OCOGs, Bid Cities and other Paralympic event organisers to see ‘behind the scenes’ and hear from OCOG leaders and other experts in order to better understand Games operations.
Meanwhile, the Games Experience programme(GEP) is an integrated education journey coordinated by WAoS for future OCOGs. The GEP provides anopportunity for individuals to participate in a structured, tailor-made programme, which allows OCOGs to not only witness and observe real Games-time operations, but to have access to the various managers and knowledgeable staff to enhance their learning process.
Due to the success of the GEP, the IOC has integrated its former Observers Programme into the framework of the Games Campus concept. The GEP is now delivered as one continuous learning opportunity from before the Opening Ceremony of the Olympic Games right through to the Closing Ceremony of the Paralympic Games. WAoS works with both the IOC and IPC to deliver this important operation over a 60-day period.
The Inclusion Summit has become an important fixture throughout the Paralympic Games, and presenters have included political ministers, representatives of the World Bank, UN Secretary General and US State Department among many others. During the Rio 2016 Inclusion Summit, the conversation was taken much wider through social media where #InclusionSummit trended as number three across both days of the Summit on Twitter.
Leading into the London 2012 Paralympic Games, the IPC recognised the work that had been proactively achieved by the OCOG in relation to inclusion and accessibility. It was an important time for the Paralympic Movement to extend its brand positioning and to actively push the message of what the Paralympic Games could achieve for social inclusion.
There has been consistent reference to the IPC Academy Excellence Programme across numerous Games editions at the official Games Debrief. Senior OCOG leaders have praised the inspirational programme as a key contributor to the success and product growth of the Paralympic Games and of their teams.
Throughout 2009 and 2010, thorough planning was undertaken by the IPC Academy (an educational division created in 2009 as a partnership between the IPC and WAoS), with Sochi 2014 and the IPC to create a number of workshops which would take the OCOG through key learnings and inspire its people to deliver an exceptional games.
Following this initial roll out of what was called the IPC Academy Excellence Programme, all subsequent OCOGs have been fortunate to receive this learning programme which is unique in its structured and coordinated approach to deliver near market insights within an educational framework. The programme continues to this day and plays an important role in the ongoing integration between IOC and IPC operations.
Following the Beijing 2008 Paralympic Games, the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) looked to leverage long term opportunities that would further grow and enhance the Games. With Vancouver 2010 already close to delivery and London 2012 well progressed in its planning, a longer term strategy was taken to begin engagement with Sochi 2014. This aimed to implement a coordinated learning pathway over a number of years to identify how Sochi 2014 could maximise the opportunity of the Paralympic Winter Games.
A partnership with WAoS created the IPC Academy to develop various education frameworks and structures in order to help the IPC to achieve its strategic priorities. This involved many projects being established with sustainable structures which have gone on to become embedded in the Paralympic Movement. This includes activities across Games management such as the Excellence Programme and Games Campus, NPC development programmes in partnership with the Agitos Foundation, and technical programmes for classifiers and technical officials.
The International Paralympic Committee (IPC) is a unique organisation as the custodian of the Paralympic Games, governs a number of Paralympic Sport disciplines and is governed through a diverse membership of National Paralympic Committees (NPCs), International Federations (IFs) and International Sport Organisation for Disabled (ISODs). In the mid-2000s,the IPC realised that it needed an education partner that understood international sport and could assist it in its future development given its limited resources and small but committed staff headcount.
Over the years, the SAT Sports Leaders Programme has grown in reputation and is recognised as the preeminent sport programme in Thailand open to NF board member/staff and senior SAT leadership. It has now been delivered for over a decade, and due to its success, SAT has further expanded its education offering to the national sport community in Thailand through additional WAoS education programmes and study tours.
SAT was looking to identify ways to enhance its national sport federations and better support Thailand’s athletes throughout the mid-2000s given the various international events that were being hosting in the country such as the Summer Universiade. With various projects and major events successfully delivered, SAT recognised areas that could be enhanced and sought to identify a partner which could empower its national sport communities and leverage its international position.
Over a number of years, the programmes engaged and developed the Bahrain sport sector and introduced participants to new and innovative approaches to sport development and management. The BOC also involved the regional sporting bodies and provided opportunities for various countries throughout the GCC (Gulf Cooperation Council).
WAoS was engaged to identify how such a programme could be effectively implemented throughout the Bahrain sporting sector and enhance the professionalisation of sports locally. Through a detailed analysis, it was identified that a programme pathway for sport administrators would provide the necessary skills development required locally to achieve the overall goals of the BOC. These programmes provided international expertise along with localised content and context to develop individuals from the local club level through to leadership roles in sport.
Having established a well-defined coaching pathway across Bahrain, the BOC identified a gap in the management of its National Federations (NFs). It embarked on a programme of modernisation to allow common administrative functions to be provided more consistently across NFs in order to allow them to focus on the important aspects of developing their respective sports and athletes.
Resources and courses have now touched all corners of the globe and member associations have been inspired to create opportunities for their communities to play badminton, often for the first time. One endearing story involved badminton representatives in a small nation in Oceania who were initially overwhelmed on the first day of a Player Pathway Programme. However, by the end, they embraced the new ideas and went on to create the nation’s first national championships and junior national championships within months of the programme. This has evolved to a coordinated player pathway from Shuttle Time being delivered in schools through to opportunities for players to compete internationally.
The education vision that BWF identified had an immediate resonance with WAoS and we could clearly see how and where we could add value to their programme offering. We progressed a variety of activities focusing on providing programmes that support the development of BWF’s member associations through administration courses and events courses. Additionally, our platform has progressively played a more important role as Shuttle Time and coaching online courses now create blended learning opportunities. These reduce the time spent in face to face workshops and ultimately save resources of member associations due to a reduction in time and space requirements for such courses.
Over a number of years, BWF had established some key strategic development projects and identified a vision for its development activities in the longer term. Central to this was the creation of Shuttle Time (its worldwide schools programme) and its coaching programmes. It also identified that additional programmes would need to be established which were best served through a partnership approach with WAoS.
Participants should have achieved the following outcomes at the completion of the programme:
Overall, the programme not only facilitates understanding behind the approach required to build and manage athlete pathways but also provides a systematic and practical approach to developing a performance pathway plan that enables IFs to work with member associations/ national federations to implement and activate over the following years
Key aspects of programme delivery include:
The Athlete Pathway Programme provides an appropriate global intervention that can be delivered on a regional basis, with the aim to have more member associations/ national federations aware of the importance of athlete pathways and performance planning. The programme is focussed on empowering member associations/ national federations to understand the key elements in leading and supporting a clear athlete pathway enabled through effective performance pathway planning for their sport/ organisation. Through the identification of short, medium and long-term goals, the programme highlights ways to maximise outputs at each stage of the pathway.The Athlete Pathway Programme has been delivered across multiple regions and languages for various levels of member associations/ national federations. Partners include BWF, ICC, WCF, World Rugby as well as several open intake programmes.
Terms & Conditions