Two ongoing European Union-funded Erasmus+ Sport programmes involving the EHF continued to grow in 2018.


Led by the European Observatoire of Sport and Employment (EOSE) and Sports Officials UK (SOUK), the international ONSIDE project brings together the EHF and sport organisations from across the EU to help improve the image and recognition of sport officials by promoting education in and through sport, with a focus on skills development, made possible with opportunities to enhance skills through innovative education, including new e-learning courses.

ONSIDE is aligned with EU policies in sport, education and employment with the EOSE 7-Step-Model for workforce development implemented and the model applied to the area of sport officiating.

ONSIDE officially got underway over two days in April in Vienna, with the EHF hosting the first meeting of those involved to ensure all were familiar with its methodology and work plan.

The focus of the meeting was to consider the results of four phases of research carried out since the previous ONSIDE meeting. The research included telephone interviews with nine European sports federations and an online survey among national federations. The survey got responses from 247 respondents across 50 sports, representing France, UK, Bulgaria, Romania, Malta and the Netherlands.

ONSIDE partners analysed the results, focusing on key workforce development themes including recruitment, retention, skills, education, and current challenges. Delegates also debated the levels and models of sport officials and produced a working definition of sport officiating which will be the starting point in the production of competency standards.

Given the central role of officials in sport, the project is now benefitting the whole sport sector and generating significant interest across European sport with the third full partner meeting taking place in 2018 at the European Athletics headquarters in Lausanne, Switzerland.

At the next meeting in Bucharest, Romania, in March 2019, the first set of outputs will be finalised with the project set to conclude in 2020 at a European conference on sport officiating.

“The partners are working together very well as a team to tackle this challenging skills development project,” said Ben Gittus, EOSE Director of Standards. “The research phase considered at the meeting has laid a solid foundation as we move
into year two of the project".

ONSIDE full list of 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
  • Romanian Football Federation (FRF)
  • British Wheelchair Basketball

Vassil Levski Bulgarian National Sports Academy

Handball 4 Dual Careers

In May 2017, the EHF, in partnership with the Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences (AUAS), the Federation of the European Sporting Goods Industry (FESI) and professional clubs IK Sävehof (SWE), Club Fenix Toulouse (FRA) and Fraikin BM. Granollers (ESP) – as project leaders – launched Handball 4 Dual Careers (H4DC), a 30-month project collaboration to promote and support the topic of dual careers in handball.

2018 marked the halfway point of the project which aims to develop a comprehensive support service for the development of players through a collaborative approach between sporting bodies, educational organisations and private sector representatives.

Players at all three professional clubs are being targeted, starting at the age of 12 up to university age, including professional players, as the project aims to fulfil the following objectives:

  • Design a dual career support service in that includes awareness, training and individual guidance
  • Test, supervise and evaluate the methodology with 120 athletes through pilot projects
  • Draw conclusions from the pilot projects and write a report of policy recommendations which are transferable to any handball club or other sports club
  • Needs Assessments

An expert in the field of dual careers, AUAS created a programme and services through executing a firm Needs Assessment at the three pilot clubs, consisting of interviews with the stakeholders in and around the club, a focus group with these stakeholders as well as questionnaires for the talents, parents and coaches.

AUAS also conducted an extensive literature review on dual careers and identified the best practices which inspire Handball 4 Dual Careers, as well as developing specific training sessions for staff at the three clubs involved.

This is part of a holistic approach to cover the two main pillars of the dual careers concept, as stated in its EU Guidelines which appeal to the sport sector’s own responsibility to contribute to the dual careers of their sporting talents:

Ensuring players’ engagement in the educational system (including vocational training)

  • Fostering their employability potential

December 2019 is set to see the final results of Handball 4 Dual Careers presented to the European Commission.

For more information go to www.H4DC.euv