Almost 60 delegates from more than 30 member nations attended the 2017 Tennis Europe Coaches Conference in Sofia, where the event was hosted by the Bulgarian Tennis Federation from 9-10 October.
This edition of the conference was built around the theme of ‘online tools for coach education’ and featured contributions from many of the leading names from Tennis Europe’s constituent national tennis federations, as well as specialists in the field. The event took place over two days and was comprised of a mixture of lecture sessions, interactive working groups and panel discussions.
The conference was opened on Monday, 9th October by the Tennis Europe Development Committee Chairperson Christiane Jolissaint and the Bulgarian Tennis Federation CEO Katerina Guenova. The first day went on to focus on online coach education tools and their implementation, while Day 2 looked at application, integrating and motivating coaches to use online tools. The event closed with group discussions and online use of one of the tools led by Frank van Fraayenhoven. Following the Tennis Europe Coach Education Conference majority of the coaches took advantage of the opportunity to remain in Sofia in order to attend the ITF Worldwide Coaches Conference, which got underway on Tuesday evening at the same venue.
Amongst the key speakers of the Coach Education Conference were Patrice Gruet Director at the Trans-Faire, a French company specialized in coach and animators education in the field of sport. Kenneth Bastiaens from MultiSkilzz - together with Niklas Fjeldstad from the Swedish Tennis Federation - presented the current online possibilities of the unique development method implemented by MultiSkillz. Representatives from several Tennis Europe A and B nations also shared their experiences with online tools, with contributions from Netherlands, Belgium, Italy, Great Britain, Germany, Switzerland, France, Austria and Finland.
The delegates were also treated to an evening at one of the Marinela Hotel restaurants – Ambasador, where the official dinner was held.
ITF/Tennis Europe Development Office Hrvoje Zmajic summed up the meeting, saying, “The conference was very well attended and we have been grateful to receive very positive feedback from the delegates. Online tools for coach education is a relatively new but increasingly important topic for this event, and it was satisfying to see so many speakers and federations eager to contribute. I’d like to thank Bulgarian Tennis Federation for the excellent organisation and the warm hospitality that we all received during our stay.”