The proponent organization Rijeka Sport’s Association is an NGO working at the local and European levels in the field of grassroots Sport and Sport for all, with an offer of Sport activities extended across the spectrum of the different age-bands (from children to Adults).
The organization, long established at the local level with an high level of quality and substantial number of activities implemented, is presently in the process of internationalizing the scope of its activities at the European level, with a priority focus on the Erasmus Plus programme.
At this regard, the applicant has gained substantial achievements with the approval of an Erasmus Plus Collaborative Partnership in the field of Sport in 2016, followed by the successful application of 2 Collaborative Partnerships Sport (a Collaborative Partnership and a Small Collaborative Partnership) in the year 2017. Ground-breaking achievements in the field of the educational us of Sport were registered with the approval of the Erasmus Plus Capacity Building Youth “A Path To TransportAction” (APTSA)- focused on employing Sport as an educational instrument of female inclusion in disadvantaged rural communities- and of the Erasmus Plus KA1 Youth “Sport Education Triggering Entrepreneurial Action” (SETEA), focused on the use of Sport as a tool of entrepreneurial empowerment of disadvantaged young people. Both projects were successfuly applied in 2017.
The successful application of APTSA and SETEA allowed the applicant organization to explore the field of Sport beyond the sphere immediately related to physical activities and healthy lifestile promotion, approaching the educational dimension of Sport practice as an avenue for fostering the acquisition of positive attitudes, soft and transversal skills useful for social inclusion of disadvantaged targets (in the specific cases, rural females and young people with fewer opportunities). Said dimension represents one of the core explications of the Education Through Sport (ETS) methodology, connecting Non Formal Education (NFE) and Sport practice for the achievement of socially appreciable goals of social inclusion and empowerment by means of education.
In this process, the cooperation established with the Italian partner MVNGO, which contributed to the development of both projects through its expertise in the field of ETS, and the ensuing exchange of knowledge and ideas, were crucial in ushering in a process of internal reflection wherein the applicant appreciated the groundbreaking potential of an integration between its activities in the field of Sport practice and the educational orientation ensured by ETS methods.
As an organization addressing a wide audience of targets across the different age-bands, the applicant is in an optimal position to cater to the educational and social inclusion needs of the Adult age-band in its area of operation, as well as to bring about a positive impact on the wider scenario of educational offer and project design efforts in the Erasmus Plus Adult field.
Amidst an internal reflection about the most proper strategies to bring the aforementioned design to fruition, there emerged a shared assessment of the core critical lacks of the organization in need of solution through staff learning and international cooperation, and markedly:
1- The lack of internal staff professionalism in the field of the educational use of Sport (ETS methodology), specifically in the field of Adult learning.
2- Lacking internal capacities in employing ETS as an instrument of entrepreneurial education for the Adult target .
3- Insufficient networking capacities and thematic partnerships in the sector, with a particular focus on European NGO experienced in the field of Adult education and ETS, hampering the internationalization of the organization’s activities and educational offer.
Based on the findings of internal reflection and assessment, the applicant decided to invest a specific effort in developing the competences of staff (Trainers, Project Managers and Staff Members) as well as establishing joint proposals and long-term mechanisms of coordination with NGOs from other European countries.
The specific fields of staff development to be addressed were identified as the following:
– Knowledge, skills and competences in the use of ETS as an avenue for the empowerment of disadvantaged targets in the Adult field.
– Knowledge, skills and competences in employing ETS as an instrument of entrepreneurial education in the Adult field.
– Knowledge, skills and competences in networking at the European level, with a main view to the establishment of long-term partnerships with likeminded NGOs in the Adult education field.
The project foresees the following mobilities:
1- Mobility of 5 Trainers forming part of the regular staff of the applicant to Bulgaria (Sofia), in order to attend a Training Course on the use of Education Through Sport methods in the Adult field hosted by the partner organization Champions Factory.
2- Mobility of 5 Trainers from the applicant’s regular staff to Italy (Sassari), to attend a Training Course on the use of ETS for the development of entrepreneurial skills and competences in Adult learners hosted by the partner organization Mine Vaganti NGO.
3- Mobility of 2 staff members with directional responsibility to Italy (Sassari) for a Job Shadowing in the premises of the partner organization Mine Vaganti NGO. The Job Shadowing will concern with exchanging knowledge and good practices in ETS and Adult education as well as developing long-term partnerships and joint initiatives in the Erasmus Plus Adult field.