Training Programme

 Sport management and leadership training programme

The training programme, implemented by a collaborative partnership of National Olympic Committees and industry experts, is an initiative to increase competencies of women in the European world of sports in order to prepare them for more demanding positions in sport. During the 8 month training programme, participants will increase their competencies and their potential to implement changes in their sport organisations, and they will become part of a learning community of (future) female leaders in sport.

This innovative programme is co-funded by the Erasmus+: Sport Programme of the European Union. The training programme contributes to the EU’s goals concerning the equality between women and men as a key principle behind the good governance of sport organisations. Overall, the project SUCCESS contributes to the European aim of achieving a full gender balance in the representation in decision-making positions in sport governing bodies by 2020.

Programme overview

The training programme is designed to support the development of female leaders in sport organisations. Participants also benefit from becoming part of a learning community of female leaders in sport.

During the 8 month training programme, participants are engaged in deep exploration of strengths, weaknesses and opportunities as they analyse their sport organisations and use newly acquired theoretical and practical insights to provide recommendations for improvements on the functioning of their own sport organisations.

The learning methodology involves analysing, peer knowledge-sharing, practical exercises and reflections on the content learned in-class. Learning outcomes are related to the day-to-day realities and challenges of each participant. The learning process is enhanced through participant-oriented discussions that unlock the existing skills and experiences within the group.

Participants will have mentors to support them during the development of analysis and case studies related to their own sport organisations. Mentoring enhances the learning process for participants.

Before the beginning of the training programme, participants complete a self-assessment multiple-choice test to provide trainers’ with indicators of their strengths and weaknesses and allow them to prepare a tailor-made learning content that is addressing their needs.

The training programme is based on developing key management and leadership skills.

The training programme consists of three parts with two sessions being delivered in-class which enables interaction with peers, transfer of knowledge and experiences between participants and networking opportunities. Between two in-class sessions, participants analyse their own sport organisations and develop case studies based on theoretical concepts learned in- and out-of-class with a support of their mentors.


The training programme is designed for volunteers and paid staff in leadership positions and top executive positions in sport organisations. Participants are already established in their roles and have been identified for senior level advancement by their own sport organisations. Exceptionally, women who are already in decision-making positions at the lower levels in sport organisations can also participate in the training programme if they have exceptional leadership potential and are supported by senior leaders in their sport organisation i.e. they are planning on promoting them in the near future. See the full list of selected participants here: list-of-participants-experts-and-metors


Application package

The application package consisted of the following documents:


Content of the training programme

The content is tailor-made, which means that it is based on the needs of participants. Lecturers prepared their lessons based on the identification of training needs which was based on results of the self-assessment test completed by participants as described in the document under the same name.


Topics of the training programme were selected based on the identification of training needs of participants. Therefore, every training programme will be different, depending on the profile of participants and their level of knowledge (identification of training needs). Lecturers of the trial-run of the Sport Management and Leadership Training Programme covered a range of topics which were dealth with mostly in group work and discussions among participants as the methodology requires limited lecturing and focusing on interaction of participants. Here are some of the introductory presentations given by lecturers during the trial-run of the training programme:


Hosting organisation invited an expert on EU matters in the field of sport who gave the following lectures:


Case studies

Another equally valuable learning content are the case studies developed by participants based on the theoretical concepts and practical knowledge shared between participants. Summaries of case studies of participants of the trial-run of Sport Management and Leadership Training Programme can be found HERE, as well as participants’ contacts for readers who are interested in more details. Future organisers may use the templates to help participants develop case studies more easily, as well as to have a uniform approach that can be easily understood and followed by other participants:



Literature was selected based on results of the self-assessment test completed by participants i.e. identified weaknesses. Participants had to read the literature before the beginning of the training programme. Literature was divided in two separate groups of literature as follows:

1. Required reading

  • Understanding Sport Organisations: The Application of Organisation Theory, Trevor Slack & Milena Parent
    • Organisation Theory and the Management of Sport Organisations
    • Organisational Goals and Effectiveness
    • Dimensions of Organisational Structure
    • Design Options in Sport Organisations
    • Strategy
    • Sport Organisations and Their Environment
    • Power and Politics in Sport Organisations
    • Managing Organisational Conflict
    • Organisational Change
    • Organisational Decision Making
    • Leadership and Sport Organisations
  • Human Resource Management in Sport and Recreation, Packianathan Chelladurai
    • HR in Sport and Recreation
    • Abilities
    • Values
    • Motivation
    • Staffing and Career Considerations
    • Leadership
    • Performance Appraisal
    • Conclusion. Founding and Guiding Themes
  • Managing Organisations for Sport and Physical Activity, Packianathan Chelladurai
    • Managerial Decision Making
  • Managing Olympic Sport Organisations, Olympic Solidarity
    • Organising a Sport Organisation
    • Managing Strategically
    • Managing Human Resources
    • Managing Finance
    • Managing Marketing
    • Organising a Major Sport Event

2. Additional reading

  • Governance and Policy in Sport Organisations, Mary A. Hums, Joanne C. MacLean
    • Ethics in Sport Organisations
    • Amateur Sport in the Community
  • Managing Organisations for Sport and Physical Activity, Packianathan Chelladurai
    • Motivational Basis of Leading. Part 1 of 2
    • Motivational Basis of Leading. Part 2 of 2
    • Contemporary Approaches to Leadership
  • The Business of Sport Management, John Beech & Simon Chadwick
    • Governance and Ethics
  • Public Policy and Administration, research papers
    • Management of Sport Governing Bodies
  • Introduction to Sport Marketing, Aaron C.T. Smith
    • Introduction to Sport Marketing


Training of training programme deliverers

Training of training programme deliverers is an important task that needs to be done at least 3-4 months before the beginning of the training programme. That way, they will have sufficient time for preparation. The content of the training programme can be found in the following presentation:

Training of training programme deliverers