The class of 2015 have graduated from the International Coaching Enrichment Certification Programme (ICECP) with a special ceremony at the International Olympic Committee (IOC) headquarters in Lausanne.
The 28 coaches from five continents, 33 countries - including American Samoa, Botswana, Colombia, Ethiopia, Latvia and Syria - and 14 sports were put through their paces during the intensive four-module coaching education programme, which focussed on improving coaching infrastructure in their home countries.
This year marked the seventh edition of the ICECP, which was developed by the United States Olympic Committee (USOC), the University of Delaware and the IOC, and is conducted in partnership with Olympic Solidarity, the IOC initiative that provides financial assistance to National Olympic Committees worldwide.
“Congratulations to the newest class of ICECP graduates,” said USOC chief executive Scott Blackmun.
“These coaches represent the future of the Olympic Movement, and their commitment to developing their personal skillset and advancing the global sports community is admirable.”
The ICECP started at the University of Delaware on September 20, and also took place at the US Olympic Training Centre in Colorado Springs, apprenticeship sites around the US and the IOC headquarters in Switzerland.
The final module saw participants presenting the projects they completed over the course of the programme to the ICECP academic board, before the graduation ceremony, which featured a keynote address by IOC sports director Kit McConnell and International Canoe Federation secretary general Simon Toulson.
"It was a true honour to work with the USOC to put on a world-class programme,” said Dr Matthew Robinson, director of the ICECP and professor of sport management at the University of Delaware.
"The participants' efforts were inspirational and I know all of them will make important contributions to their sport and the Olympic Movement for years to come.
“We look forward to year eight next year and passing the 200 participant mark.
“I am humbled to work with so many passionate people who contribute to the success of the programme.”
Shiba Maggon, a 2015 graduate from India, said the ICECP has given her the skills to help basketball in her home nation.
“I have learned more than coaching,” she added.
“Yes, I have learned about player development but I have also learned about administration and sponsorship, and I feel I can design a complete programme.”
Meanwhile, Marcello Varriale from Brazil said the programme has been an “amazing experience”.
“The content I learned at the University of Delaware and from the USOC staff was invaluable,” he explained.
“The difference of the ICECP from other programmes is the sharing and learning from different countries and sports, and being able to apply these ideas to my sport of rowing.
“In implementing my project, I discovered the importance of having a structured programme.
“With that, I was able to develop coaching education in a structured manner to benefit the coaches in my sport and country.”
The ICECP has so far reached 198 participants from 23 sports and 87 countries in its seven-year history.
October 2010: Coaches taking "world-class" skills back home