Healthy and Active Youth
At the start of the 21st century, when fitness and sports facilities and sports clubs offering different activities and classes are more than ever, there is a worrying number of physically inactive youth in the EU. The tendency of inactive behaviour among youth has increased from 39% in 2015 to 42% in 2016 shows a survey made by TNS Opinion & Social network made in the 28 Member States of EU.
One of the key priorities of the EU in this regard is the promotion of Health-Enhancing Physical Activity (HEPA) recommendations which is the first-ever Council recommendations in the field of sport. Regular physical activity improves overall health and reduces the risk for many chronic diseases as cardiovascular disease, diabetes and some cancers, helps control weight, and contributes to mental well-being.
We believe that sport can be a very powerful tool for education and inclusion when working with young people because it can be very motivating and interesting. It can create a bridge between different social groups and better mutual comprehension and dialogue. Sport, as a unique tool, has the potential to provide mutual understanding among young people and the society in the EU member Countries.
With this project, the partner consortium gave an opportunity for 80 young people from 5 different countries to meet and learn about each other’s cultures. The project was a profound result of a common planning and project design of representatives of the partner organizations, who met. All partners exchanged desired project implementation and impact on the participants. The partners planned together their Youth Exchanges around a theme of mutual interest – intercultural exchange through outdoor activities and sport.
“Healthy and Active Youth” brought youngsters with different background and experience form 5 countries (Ireland, Romania, Italy, Bulgaria and Turkey) in two 8 days youth exchanges in Varna, Bulgaria and San Teodoro, Olbia, Italy where they raised their awareness of the importance of a healthy and active lifestyle and empowered them to become promoters of the topic in their youth societies.
The project achieved its objectives and:
– raised the awareness of the importance of a healthy and active lifestyle among youth
– empowered youngsters to become promoters of healthy and active living in their society
– gave the opportunity of youth with fewer opportunities to participate in international activities
– promoted intercultural exchange and created a sustainable youth network
We reached a long range of tangible and intangible results, as some of the main ones are:
– 80 youngsters involved in international activities
– the partners developed their capacity in Erasmus+ project management and implementation
– 1 tool book with all tangible outcomes – ETS (Education through Sport)Tools created by the participants, reports from follow-ups with photos, future project ideas etc.
– 2 videos of each project activity with moments from the workshops and emotions of the participants
– project logo
– 7 ideas for future projects/initiatives together or with other partners, expanding our network
Based on the evaluation of the project we reached to the conclusion that in the long-term “Healthy and Active Youth” had a positive impact on the participants, the involved organizations, the local communities and the European Union. The young people involved in the project became more conscious of the importance of daily physical exercise and as a result, they became more active European citizens. After returning home, they were more motivated and engaged in sports activities and started to involve their friends in other sports activities or Erasmus+ Projects. By sharing expertise in the field of sport and exchanging working methods and non-formal education techniques, the quality of local and international youth work was developed together with the capacity of the organisations.
The project offered visibility for the Erasmus Plus Youth program which is not well known among the young students of the campus. Through the project, we also reach the older population as we promote ‘Sport for All’ regardless of origin, belief, economic situation and age.