On January 9-10, one year after the kick-off of the “Volunteering in School Sport” (V2S) project, all partners ran an evaluation meeting at the House of Sport in Brussels to officially close the project.
The ISF organised the closing meeting of the “Volunteering in School Sport” (V2S), hosted in the offices of Sport & Citizenship in the Belgium capital city. It was there in Brussels, at the heart of Europe, that this Erasmus+ (https://ec.europa.eu/programmes/erasmus-plus/node_en) project was launched a year ago to promote the participation of youth in school sport.
At the cross-road between the formal educational framework (school) and the field of sport, the ISF decided to tackle to issue of employability in Europe, by designing a pilot project to boost volunteering in the world of school sport, a very effective approach for youngsters to be active, take actions, and develop key competences that can be re-invested in several other contexts. In terms of attitudes, skills, and knowledge, the experience of the 24 young volunteers, coming from 6 different European countries, was tremendous. Indeed, they attended a training in Budapest and were given opportunities to implement their new competences both at the local (national) level, and on the international stage during the ISF European Schools Badminton Championship in Clermont-Ferrand (France).
In Brussels, the 6 national school sport entities (Croatia- http://skolski-sport.hr/, France- http://unss.org/, Hungary- http://www.mdsz.hu/en/, Latvia- http://lssf.lv/, Malta, and Turkey- http://tosf.gov.tr/), the expert in Education Through Sport (Hope For Children Hungary- http://remenytagyermekeknek.hu/), and the Think Tank Sport and Citizenship- https://www.sportetcitoyennete.com/en/, discussed the outcomes of the project and its dissemination. If the young participants have received a Youth Pass Certificate, with reference to their life-long competences, the team is also working on the creation of a “Handbooklet”, which will provide definitions, guidelines, and examples of good practices, to develop volunteering programs in the world of school sport. Such document will propose tangible tools to Physical Education (PE) teachers, coaches, and school sport organisations’ staff, willing to initiate, or increase, youth participation in a safe and inclusive environment.
Two young volunteers had been elected by their peers to participate in the meeting and give their recommendations on youth empowerment in school sport:
- The creation of the ISF Youth Council could be broken down to the national levels.
- School sport could include more social media networking.
- Former participants of ISF projects could be invited to new ones, to build up a bridge between generations of school sport volunteers/youngsters.
- Youth needs to be empowered with more project opportunities and learning tools.
- On every ISF events, recommendations from participants could be collected.
- The ISF should continue educational projects such as V2S.
- The importance of role models should not be underestimated on youth in school sport.
The success of the V2S project lies in the ability of stakeholders from the formal education setting, from the field of sport, and youth work, to work together. Partner organisations were very attentive to the feedback, and new programs are already being initiated at the national level to further expand volunteering (Croatia, Latvia, etc). The ISF also encourages new initiatives by offering financial supports to its member on specific educational programs in 2018. V2S is a milestone in the development of the educational dimension of ISF events, beyond its already existing informal educational aspect (traveling, discovering other cultures), and beyond sport.