A Case Study: DGI Esport in Denmark
DGI is a national umbrella organization for more than 6,000 local sports associations and clubs in Denmark. The sports clubs represent more than 1.5 million active members and a wide array of activities including for example gymnastics, badminton, basketball, handball, shooting, volleyball, swimming, tennis and various martial arts. With 15 regional offices across the country, DGI covers all of Denmark as well as a small part of northern Germany.
The main idea behind DGI is to encourage Danes to join their local sports clubs and associations and to ensure positive and motivating environments in which athletes can thrive and develop regardless of their skill level and physical capabilities.
Because of the explosive growth of esports in recent years, DGI decided to establish an esports department – DGI Esport – in 2017. DGI Esport supports the development of esports in Denmark and works to educate the public on the benefits and potential of esports. DGI Esport is founded on the belief that esports has the power to create a strong sense of community and to motivate new groups of people and kids to join a club or association. The goal is to create positive, motivational and stimulating esports environments with room for players of all kinds – regardless of age and skills.
DGI Esport promotes the development of esports, helps establish new esports clubs around the country and works to ensure that esports become an integrated part of associational life in Denmark. They offer customized concepts to help individual clubs attract new members, develop new activities and achieve their full growth potential.
With a team of esport experts, DGI Esport provides counseling and expertise on a wide range of issues including finances and funding, equipment and facilities, games and activities as well as ethical issues such as gambling and betting.
With IT solutions developed specifically for sports clubs combined with a wide range of administrative services, they make daily routines and tasks easier for the clubs. The administrative services include book keeping and marketing, and their services free up time and allow the esports clubs to focus on areas such as strategic development, which allows clubs to improve their concepts and attract new members.
Training and education for esports coaches
Together with esport experts, players and clubs, DGI develops training and education for esports coaches to improve the overall quality of esports training and activities, and to ensure a continuous focus on player and team development. DGI’s belief is that skilled coaches and high quality training are key factors in attracting, engaging and retaining members and consequently, education of esports coaches is an important tool for creating growth and development in esports clubs internationally.
The training concepts at DGI include a basic esports coach training program as well as a specialized CS:GO coach training program. During the basic training program, esport coaches learn to organize and carry out targeted and inspiring training sessions that develop the athletes physically, mentally and socially. Coaches get acquainted with skill-developing exercises and activities and learn how to create positive and inclusive training environments. The basic training program qualifies esports coaches for the more specialized CS:GO B Coach Training Program. During this program, participants get in-depth knowledge of the elements of the game, and acquire tools for effective skill development through mentored practice.
YouSee DGI League
Together with a number of other stakeholders, DGI Esport has formed the official Danish esports league called the YouSee DGI League. The league offers Danish esports teams and clubs an opportunity to compete in a well-organized tournament and to qualify for the regional championships as well as for the official Danish esports championship. The league is for all clubs and teams regardless of their skill level, and attracts teams from all over the country with casual players to seriously competitive players.
DGI Esport is acutely aware that the world of esports involves a number of ethical problems and challenges including problems with health, betting, gambling and age restrictions. As a national esports organization, they are obligated to take these problems seriously, and together with a number of other Danish esports related organizations, they have created an Ethical Code of Conduct. The Ethical Code of Conduct deals with issues such as physical and mental health, gambling, drugs and alcohol, gambling, fair play and behavior, and DGI encourages all esports clubs and associations to commit to an ethical code, if not the one presented by them here, Ethical Code of Conduct.
DGI Esport is an enthusiastic advocate of physical training in esports, and helps esports clubs introduce exercise and physical activities to their members. It is a well-known scientific fact that physical activity not only improves the strength of our bodies and our perseverance but also makes our brains work better and boosts our ability to make complex decisions, predict consequences and think ahead.
DGI works to ensure that physical training becomes an integrated part of esports training, because they firmly believe that healthy, strong and fit esports players create the best results. Furthermore, they feel that they have a strong moral obligation towards young esports players, and see it as their duty to educate them on the importance of physical training and the health risks related to a sedentary life style.