In November 2014 I had the pleasure to participate in the training course: "Game, SET, Matching” – Sport as an Educational Tool-, that was organised by the Polish and French European agency of Erasmus+, with the cooperation of the Georgian Youth office. My personal experience was a good and satisfactory one, but the most important is the results of this course.
This training course was around the idea that sports are part of both intangible heritage and daily life, and they are a symbol of the cultural diversity, richness of our societies. The proposal was to share experiences from all countries represented and to reflect about sports, as a tool for empowering intercultural understanding, and used in several projects in among the different phases of the training. Sportive projects are also efficient means to convey values of solidarity, diversity, inclusiveness and cultural awareness. Moreover, sports reflect on different cultural expressions, and create a bridge between regional cultures for a better mutual comprehension and dialogue. One of the most important goals of all the trainings courses, in the Erasmus+ program, is the contribution for build new alliances in the field of the non-formal education between Ngos. In this case was building networks about the sport and the non-formal education.
Like in others trainings courses, the participants try to make good partners for future projects, and connections that allow implementing a new project, but the experience shows that after not always is so easy. Factors like: the distance between the partners, the cultural differences, the come back again to the local work and in special the difficult to find the exact point of connectivity between different partners. After the training course "Game, SET, Matching”, we can check that the expectation was achieved, arriving to the conclusion that one of the most important targets it was achieved was the building of new partnership between the participants. In the analysing of the reasons to arrive to this conclusion, we can find some essential factors:
* The quality of the program. It’s necessary to organize a training course that really connects with the goals and the expectations. And it’s also very important to build a connection between the targets and propositions to the contents with real examples.
* The professionalism of the training team. The leaders who organize the training must have two important skills: - know very well the specific field of the knowledge that they must transfer, in this case were, games & sports. They must know connecting theory and practice experience. In the second place, they must have a complete background in the field of the non-formal education.
* The selection process to choose the Ngos and the participants in the training course. Erasmus+ is a powerful call and field of opportunities, unfortunately as defect sometimes attracts participants without real Ngos, it means without contact in their local community, and without memberships. Fortunately, in this training course the participants were chosen between ngos with a real compromise in their local communities, and people with a motivation in the theme of the training course, and with compromise for implement these knowledges after the course.
After "Game, SET, Matching”, appeared different networking projects among participants and their ngos. I know about successful projects of my colleagues after this training course, but now I want to explain about some experiences where I was involved.
Nike, September 2015. Erasmus+ + KA1 activity. Training course. Made in Badalona, Catalonia/Spain for the ngo La Rotllana. 25 participants between professionals.volunteers and leaders from 10 countries.
The main aims were: how to use the sport and non-formal education to give chance to youngster with fewer opportunities, how to use the sport to create friendship relations between communities. The main topics that were worked during the workshops were: How to use the sport like a tool for growing up. How to promote the sport in the non-formal education, in a proprietary and different way of the sport like a consume product.. How to promote the paradigm about the sports, where the most important thing must be the participants. How to work with the sports disciplines as only a tool to work in the educative way by the behaviours and values between children, teenagers and youngsters.
“Sport4life”- November 2015. Euromed activity. Training course, made in Hammamet, Tunisia. 24 participants between professionals, volunteers, and sport leaders, from 6 different countries. Organized by ATUPRET (Tunisian Association for the Prevention of Drug Addiction) of Stax
The training course developed three types of activities: various sports (rugby, volleyball, hiking, climbing), theoretical workshops on techniques and practices of non-formal education through sport and intercultural activities (intercultural night, visit of Tunisia).The main goals of the activities were fighting against stereotypes and prejudices and promoting social inclusion, equality of opportunity, diversity and gender equality. Moreover, sport is an educational tool that allows us to use innovative methods and practices in daily activities to create a more dynamic, active and professional environment in associations.
But the effects of "Game, SET, Matching” don’t finish here. At this moment one training course, KAS, "Korfbal All Start" is waiting for the response, to be done during this 2016. It will be a training course to promote the Korfball sport, like a non-formal education tool, because this sport is based in play totally in the team and in the gender balance. KAS’ aim is to promote the Korfball between countries who never used before this sport discipline
Another proposal of work in progress is “Mercurius”. This project will be a network through Sport preparing for 2016-2017. Maybe will be one of the most complete experience, with one network of 20 countries and a lot of propositions for promoting the sport in the non-formal education, like exceptional tool for social inclusion. Youth exchanges, job-shadowing, training course for trainers, seminars, etc. will be some of the activities.
All this experiences show to us that the sport is a powerful tool for the growth and development of children, teenagers, and youngsters. One exceptional and motivating device that must be used for educating in values, before of promoting the competitiveness and the target of the winner. Maybe for a long time the sport forgets that his reason has been at the service of the people and the communities, not the reverse. The sport isn't being competition only, are valour’s of health, and like we saw during this international activity, an important tool to help the children, teenagers and youngsters to grow up, and feel the community. The sport activity is good for the social inclusion, for building bridges between the communities, for close relationships between equals or also between generations. One of the nicest opportunities for making a meet of the cultural diversity to talk the same language. Nothing will be done without any effort, the work is long and strong in these social moments but is the match that we decide to play.