From 11th to 13th June 2024, the second module of the S2ABC European Standard Course on Sport Administration was conducted, focusing on “Effective Leadership.” This module, part of the broader S2ABC project, an EU-funded initiative to build capacity of sport organisations in Western Balkans and Europe through innovative courses, delved into the intricacies of leadership and behaviour change, providing 38 participants, from 4 Western Balkan and 7 European countries,  with actionable insights to enhance their day-to-day and future professional roles. Course participants met online for 3 hours each day for a mix of lectures, interactive activities, discussions, an expert panel and group work.

Guided by Course Director Kirstie Simpson (University of Chester), participants began by distinguishing the nuances between management and leadership, a fundamental yet often misunderstood aspect of sport administration. Through interactive discussions and reflective exercises, they defined leadership in their contexts and identified their dominant leadership styles. This foundational understanding is crucial for managing change effectively, a common challenge in dynamic sports environments.

The journey continued with a deep dive into various theoretical approaches to leadership. Participants explored different leadership strategies and learned how to apply them to specific situations within their organisations. By examining the competencies of successful leaders, attendees could reflect on their own leadership qualities and identify areas for growth. This self-awareness is pivotal for professional development and for aligning personal leadership styles with organisational goals.

The module also focused on honing practical leadership skills. Janine Partington (Leeds Beckett University) led participants through a session aiming to provide their understanding of the purpose and attributes required for effective team functioning, team development, managing performance relative to organisational objectives, and coaching others for success. These skills are directly transferable to the participants’ daily and future roles, fostering a more cohesive and high-performing team environment.

The highlight of the module was a panel discussion with three experienced leaders from different parts of the sport industry:

  • Maja Peković – Deputy Secretary General / Montenegrin Olympic Committee
  • Diana Pirciu – Head of Education / Romanian Football Federation; President / UEFA Academy Alumni Association
  • Mark Cutajar – CEO / Sport Malta

Their insights into real-world leadership challenges and successes provided a rich, contextual backdrop for the theoretical knowledge gained.

As the project progresses with the upcoming final Module on “Adapted Marketing and Communication” next week, and the Course Graduation Event in Podgorica (Montenegro) in September, the course aims to elevate the quality of sport administration across Europe. Participants of this module are now well-positioned to contribute to this overarching goal, bringing enhanced leadership capabilities to their respective organisations.


  • European Observatoire of Sport and Employment (EOSE) – Coordinator
  • Université Catholique de Louvain (UCL) – Belgium
  • National Olympic Committee of North Macedonia (NOC Macedonia)
  • Sport University of Tirana (SUT) – Albania
  • National Olympic Committee of Albania (NOC Albania)
  • University of Pristina – Faculty of Sport and Physical Education – Kosovo
  • National Olympic Committee of Montenegro (NOC Montenegro)


Mr Aurélien Favre – EOSE Executive Director – Click here

Mr Wojciech Waśniewski – EOSE Projects & Research Coordinator – Click here