HELLENIC FEDERATION OF SPORTS COACHES AND TRAINERS
MEMBER: International Council for Coaching Excellence and European Coaching Council
Athens: November 24, 2014
TO THE LEGISLATIVE COMMITTEE OF THE HELLENIC GENERAL SECRETARIAT OF SPORT
The "Hellenic Federation of Sports Coaches and Trainers" (POPA), was founded in 2010 as an attempt to organize and coordinate the activities of coaches of all sports, on the basis of their common problems. Members are Coaches Associations from Sailing, Swimming, Weightlifting, Canoe-Kayak, Badminton, Fencing, Cycling, Boxing, Skiing (mountain and sea), Tennis, Archery and disabled athletes.
Followed by the invitation addressed to us, POPA will lodge a list of proposals of important matter, of which it regards that there must be an intervention of legislative procedures. Our view of proposals, crucial for the positive development of many aspects of the sport is "THE VOICE OF THE COACH" to be heard. Coach is the person in which the whole existence of sport is founded, a fact that seems to be forgotten systematically from the athletic and sports bodies. Just as the existence and operation of schools depends on teachers and professors, therefore there cannot be any sport without coaches. It cannot be possible for decisions concerning coaches to be taken without the ability of the coaches to express their opinions on a permanent basis.
From the nature of his profession, the coach not only deals with the preparation and implementation of training programs but, with a host of other items that affect and concern in his profession. So, his opinion is (must be) of importance and can contribute to making the right decisions!
For these reasons, we believe, it is imperative for the coach to participate in decision-making in sport!
2. FIELDS OF LEGISLATIVE ASSISTANCE - SPORTS COACHES
2.1 WORKING ARRANGEMENTS - LEGALITY OF COACHES
Today there are thousands of coaches, who work in various sports and clubs or associations and are not paid regularly. Many of them get money as travel fees, no insurance or contracts and must be satisfied with that for them. Also, in all sports, coaches working as individuals devoid of any legitimate pre requisite for this purpose, ie professional coach license.
Given the present state of affairs in the workplace of coaches, should in our opinion:
A) To determine the exact employment status of coaches and
B) Establish a specific way to control the legality of coaches working in clubs and National teams.
Specifically, in order coaches to become part of the economic activity of our country, they must have:
a) The right to work under minimum fee per coach category, along with mandatory procurement, as provided in Article 31 par. 6, law 2725/1999 (work contracts)
b) Been eligible for the insurance and
c) The right to retirement.
2.2 LEGALITY CONTROL OF COACHES WORKING IN CLUBS AND NATIONAL TEAMS
Following the previous question, and to ensure that only legitimate coaches will find work (coach professional license holders) must be, finally, controlled and, therefore, implementation and penalties for offenders to be applied (employed as coaches without having the necessary qualified prerequisites, in sports associations and Federations).
Therefore, we propose POPA to review the legality of the coaches of the clubs, by the formation of a binary control group, consisting of a representative of POPA and a representative from the coaches Association in the sport that is to be tested. Any case of a coach that is employed without having a coach professional license and coach ID card, will be reported to the department of sports clubs and gyms of the General Secretariat of Sports in order the penalties of paragraph 3 of Article 8, paragraph 6 of Article 50 of Law 2725/1999, to be applied.
The same committee will control the coaches of the clubs participating in the Hellenic National championships of every sport.
2.3 INTRODUCTION ROLES - TERMS DETERMINATION
Legislative action is required in response to the current reality in the provision of sport services and the economic conditions, to describe and to safeguard the distinct forms of service as follows:
Coach: Coach is the person who has acquired in accordance with applicable law and typical merits of athletic preparation, education, training and coaching athletes of every level and age. Who will also provide professional service to sports clubs, local associations, sports teams or sports federations. To prepare athletes for all kinds of games and activities for the sport concerned.
2.The profession of coaching in Greece standing to pursue those who hold a professional license issued by the General Secretariat for Sport after submitting notification of exercise of the profession of the person concerned and his enrollment in the special file of coaches. The award decision is notified to the relevant sports federation.
3. The legal practitioners coach in Greece, as defined in Articles 1 and 2 and 136 paragraph 5 of law 2725/99, as in force subject to the specific provisions of the existing regulations as coaches in the sport for which offer their specific services
4. Each coach is contracted in writing with the mandatory athletic organization which provides services with full, partial or periodic employment of employees or independent service providers. The contract to be valid it is required to be submitted to the competent Tax authority.
5. Coach obliged to employ for training athletes or learning the sport in sports academies: a) sports federations and sports clubs, b) the sporting public companies and departments of paid sportsmen, c) clubs which cultivate Olympic sport, d) clubs that operate and organize learning schools of any recognized or not in non-sport athletes whether to supply it or not paid tuition, e) sports clubs that cultivate individual non-Olympic sport, and have athletes under the age of 18 years.
6. All issues of Labor disputes of coaches in the exercise of their profession will be resolved by the Higher Council for Sports Issues. Its sole purpose it to provide a quick resolution.
Trainer is the natural person who has acquired in accordance with applicable law (to provide a framework) typical and essential qualifications for learning the sport or not recognized in persons not having the status of the athlete, providing services as a independent person or working with vector - sport learning provider.
2.4 CERTIFICATION OF TEACHERS - INSTRUCTORS WORKING IN TOURISM AND THE «PERSONAL TRAINING»
It is necessary to provide high quality services to trainees by sports teachers / trainers, working in the field of sports tourism, to have a procedure to their examinations, their certification and is integrated in the professional body for their registration and control.
As the sports teach teachers / trainers have substantial degree of risk (eg, climbing, skiing, mountain skiing, canoeing - kayaking on the river, etc. - examples of accidents in the course of such activities are unfortunately numerous) should these people have certified expertise, which ensure the provision of services with a high level of security.
Another great wound to the sports field, and private gyms, people are shown and work as coaches or personal trainers, without holding a degree or a certification by a competent body, posing a great risk to athletes and exercisers. To eliminate such phenomena, it is absolutely necessary the legislative determination of the necessary skills and knowledge, and the certification process for those who are going to work in these areas, to ensure the health of athletes and to whom provide their services.
2.5 ATHLETES AGE LIMIT - (ARTICLE 31, Fri the 5th c. D) OF LAW. 2725/1999
In Article 31 (The Coach), paragraph 5D states:
"Coach are required to have sports clubs cultivating individual sport’s athletes under the age of eighteen (18) years."
Our view is that the law should state explicitly that the clubs cultivating individual sport, must employ coach regardless of the age of the athletes, as implied in that article and in paragraph C on clubs developing team sports. The coaching process, only under the supervision of the legal coach can be done, as the only expert who can guarantee the proper and safe preparation of athletes of all sports and all ages!
2.6 COACHES SCHOOLS
POPA had proposed the establishment of "National School of Coaches” as an institution of tertiary education, modeled on the curriculum of Physical Education, but with specificity in any sport. In this exam will be enrolled at athletes and graduates from the Physical Education.
However, current economic conditions in Greece requiring to work out an alternative. The basic principles of that are:
a) improve the level of knowledge provided, b) operation of schools where there is an identified need for new coaches, covering existing real requirements, c) schools will have specific curriculum, d) will have enough time to provide accurate and comprehensive knowledge, e) practice, f) reliable examinations and g) appropriate education staff.
The schools should be established by the GSS and supervised by a committee consisting of representatives of the GSS, the relevant sport federation and POPA.
On this issue, the par. 6 of Article 136 of Law. 2725/1999, as amended
("The General Secretariat for Sport may decide, at the request and expense of the relevant sports federation, to establish periodic Coaches Schools. The same decision also regulates the functional aspects of each school, the candidate's qualifications, education staff and other related issues. This decision are also specified: a) the amount of the total fees of attendance of each candidate may not exceed in maximum of 250.00 euros, paid reciprocal of each candidate and b) the minimum duration of study, and the total hours of compulsory attendance of school for each candidate, which may in no case be less than 95% of the total teaching hours for each period. The General Secretariat of Sports verify diplomas of the periodic Schools of Coaches as to their legality, and may appoint a working group whose task will be to monitor the adherence to conditions in the school, as determined by the decision of their function. There is no compensation to the members of these groups . ")
with par. 2 of Article 78 of Law. 4170/2013 (Government Gazette 163 / 12.07.2013) and currently in force, shall be amended, as the operation of "periodic Schools of Coaches' that this item comes contrary to Article 31 of n. 2725/1999 and the conditions of the professional license permit of coach, allowing the substance in each federation to set its own criteria for the selection and admission of candidates in these schools, without subject to any control.
Alternatively recommend the schools of coaches, to entrust the Ministry of Education, since:
A) it is a learning process, and
B) Sports Federations and GSS are not in any way educational institutions.
Note: There are sports that do not receive specificity in the Department of Physical Education and Sports in the Hellenic National University. Therefore, it is essential that coaches of these sports highlighted by the Coaches Schools, but on the basis of criteria that will be provided in advance and will relate, first, to the entrance of candidates in Schools, and secondly, required knowledge testing and certification.
Necessary, of course, is the continuous training of coaches, through seminars, which are held every two years either by GSS or by POPA.
This procedure is recommended to apply as a prerequisite for renewal of professional license of coaching.
2.7 COACHES REGULATION
Following the above findings, POPA is willing to submit detailed proposals for the establishment of a single regulation, which would define the general issues regarding coaches, namely:
1. Conditions to practice the profession of sport coach
3. Coach categories
5. ID coach card
6. Obligations of clubs to hire a coach
7. Conditions of hiring foreign coach
8. Incompatible to practice the profession of sport coach
9. Validation of coaches
The regulation also states that coaches will be the case for issues relating to special requirements of each sport. I will not mention here details. The question of the specific requirements of each sport, you should consider the legislative committee of the SGS
We emphasize again that the most crucial issues are:
1. Control application of prescribed in Regulation coaches from control groups.
2. The penalties of non-compliance with the provisions in Regulation coaches to achieve the implementation of the Regulation.
3. SPECIFIC ISSUES
3.1 SELECTION OF COACHES FOR NATIONAL TEAMS
Coaches of each sport should have the right to participate to the selection process of the coaches of the national teams. The selection of coaches of national teams has no meaning without an opinion of their colleagues.
To the selection process should:
a) Have the right to participate as candidates every coach who wish it
b) Establish the qualifications needed by the candidates
c) The selection must be made by a committee composed of representatives of the relevant federation, the GSS and the coaches association of the sport.
In this way, there will be a transparent, valid, reliable and objective selection of the most efficient coaches.
3.2 COACHE’S BENEFITS
Regarding benefits provided to athletes who achieve exceptional sporting discrimination, exactly the same should apply for the coaches because the coach plans the training program, is responsible for the preparation of the athlete, lives with the athlete and whatever success has the coach as an architect. Therefore, coaches must enjoy the same benefits as athletes, in order : to restore the injustice against them, their role to come out of the shadows, but also in recognition of their contribution to Hellenic sport.
(The benefit/,s of the coaches don’t have to be necessarily economic in nature).
3.3 ATHLETES HEALTH CONTROL COVERAGE
To avoid untoward incidents during the participation of national teams in international competitions and above all to preserve the life and health of athletes, the athletes-members before their departure to participate in them, must pass full medical checkup to verify the perfect condition of their health.
Incident like that of death canoeing champion, Andreas Kilingaridis in May 2013 during competitions in Poland, should not allow the Greek state to repeat!
3.4 ATHLETES ANTI DOPING CONTROL
In order to preserve the health of our athletes and the dignity of our sport, we need to perform doping control of athletes of all our national teams before any participation in international organizations.
POPA notes that there are no necessary controls, due to lack of money.
Checks can be made by the staff of the National Center of Sports Research or the Hellenic Anti-Dopping Council.
3.5 PARTICIPATION OF NATIONAL TEAMS TO PREPARATION AND INTERNATIONAL COMPETITIONS
It should not be approved in any case the departure of national team for the participation in international competitions in Greece and abroad, but also to commune preparation, without the accompaniment of:
1. Head of Mission,
2. Doctor and
3. Legal Coach.
They are responsible for the safety, health and proper functioning of a mission.
3.6 CONTROL AND NOT SIMPLE SUPERVISION OF SPORTS FEDERATIONS BY THE GSS.
The practice so far has made evident the need to change the mode of GSS from supervisor to controller of sports federations.
So, GSS must control the operation of the Federations under the laws and regulations and to impose specific penalties for each violation, in order laws and regulations to fulfill the purposes for which they were created. The control of federations from GSS, based on the fundamental fact of state financing, means no simple supervision but complete and thorough control on all of the related federations. Any sport federation wishing to invoke the 'self rule', must choose self-financing and not the public support of Greek taxpayers money. Finally, let the state and lawmakers contemplate, on the one hand the morbid condition which exists because of existing legislation, and on the other hand because of the non-enforcement of the law, in other cases on this issue.
For the Board-of-Directors of POPA
CHAIRMAN GENERAL SECRETARY
Athanasios D. VILLIOTIS Dimitrios K. STEFANIDIS