On 18 March, the Universidad de Las Américas (UDLA) and the Ecuadorian Football Federation (FEF) will kick off the second FIFA/CIES Executive Programme in Ecuador. By then, in close cooperation with CIES, they will have interviewed online dozens of candidates willing to get acquainted with the general tools of football and sport management.
In 2018, the Ecuadorian Football Federation took the initiative to set up the FIFA/CIES Executive Programme already organised in several Latin American countries (Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Costa Rica, Peru and Venezuela).
"For FEF, one of the pillars of the strategic plan 2020-2023 is the professionalization of the Ecuadorian football ecosystem at all levels: men's and women's professional football clubs, futsal, beach soccer, amateur football and provincial associations. We are pleased that this Programme, which enjoys an excellent reputation worldwide, is being implemented in our country to complete the training of the new generation of sports managers in Ecuador. Thanks to our partnership with UDLA and CIES, we now have a 360-degree course that has been a great success despite the difficulties that the year 2020 has brought us," says William Poveda, Director of Club Licensing and Competitions at the FEF and CIES Coordinator in Ecuador.
Last year, UDLA started the Programme in a face-to-face way but, after a first session, it had to quickly convert to online delivery due to the evolution of the pandemic. Nevertheless, the university then decided to return to the original proposal of face-to-face classes in order to increase their added value. This required reflection, discussion, open-mindedness, dynamism and a lot of work, of course. In concrete terms, the “on campus” activities were organised in auditoriums and sports venues, respecting the necessary biosecurity measures and the required health protocols.
The students' evaluations showed that the challenge had been taken up, even if the majority of them regretted what constitutes the assets of face-to-face training: exchanges, sharing and networking.
The second edition of the Programme will obviously be subject to the constraints of the Covid-19 situation in Ecuador and in the region.
Nevertheless, for David Varea, Academic Director of the Programme, it is important to continue to move forward. He said, "We hope to be able to maintain an important face-to-face component on our campus in Quito and at the Federation's headquarters in Guayaquil if health regulations allow us to do so. In any case, we will be as creative as we were in the first edition of the Programme, when we organised face-to-face and open-air courses in a football stadium. An experience as surprising as it is motivating.”
Good luck and every success to the students of the second edition of the Programme!