Winter Sport is Coming
“WinterSport is Coming” (WSC) promotes social inclusion and the sense of European citizenship, fostering rejection of stereotyps and intercultural dialogue through enhancing youth participation in Winter Sports as well as developing a culture conducive to the educational use of Winter Sports among Sport operators engaged in the field.
The project is a cooperative endeavour among 4 NGOs from Slovakia, Italy, Bulgaria and Croatia representing countries faced by issues of youth inclusion, compounded by the challenge of managing diversity.
As remarked by the European Union’s White Paper on Sport “Sport is a growing social and economic phenomenon which makes an important contribution to the European Union’s strategic objectives of solidarity and prosperity”. The educational benefits of Sport for individuals in general and young people in the specific represent a priority of the European Union since the White Paper, wherein Sport is recognized as enhancing the acquisition of knowledge, motivation and skills useful at all levels of personal and professional life. The impact of Sport on individual social inclusion is specifically relevant for the challenges faced by today’s youth in that, as highlighted by the White Paper, “Sport also provides attractive possibilities for young people’s engagement and involvement in society and may have a beneficial effect in helping people steer away from delinquency”. In the intercultural dimension, Sport provides a vehicle for achieving a meaningful social integration of disadvantaged/underrepresented group as well as for laying the grounds of a positive interaction between local and migrant components at the level of civil society.
The above key dimensions of Sport are recalled and followed-up to in the European Commission’s “Developing the European Dimension in Sport” Communication of October 2011.
Winter Sport represents a substantial, sizeable subset of European leisure tradition as well as of current Sport practice at amateur and professional levels.
According to the Report “The Future of Winter Traveling in the Alps” released by Future Mountain International In 2017, Europe can presently count on a total 48.2 million active skiers.
Winter Sports also gather a considerable attention among the European public at large, as confirmed by the “Winter Sport Report” released in 2017 by the International Ski Federation (FIS). According to FIS data, Winter Sports achieved a total 8957 broadcasting hours 6338 million views in Europe between 2016 and 2017.
As the spearhead of a specific Olympic tradition initiated in 1924 and presently arrived at its XXII edition with the PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympic Games, Winter Sports partake in positive Olympic values and traditions.
In light of the above, Winter Sports promoting and spreading engagement in Winter Sports among young people would contribute to enhancing participation in a crucial sector of Sport engagement as well as, at the same time, enhance the educational dimension of the latter for the needs of young people in Europe.
In the context of a preparatory analysis for the development of the project, partner organizations noted a lack of European initiatives focusing specifically on Winter Sports as a means of promoting social inclusion of young people alongside intercultural dialogue and sense of belonging to a common European identity.
The present project initiative was conceived as a cooperation between the realms of NGO, Sport organizations and Sport practice for the purposes of exploring and releasing the educational potential of Winter Sports in the realm of youth in synergy with the principles and approaches of non formal learning.
The project foresees the implementation of a Winter Sports programme (1 per partner country) involving young people (10 per country- 5 locals and 5 migrants) co-designed in cooperation between Non Formal Education Trainers and Winter Sport practitioners.
WSC will explore the educational relevance and use of Winter Sports across the following dimensions:
– Social Inclusion: Winter Sport as catalyst of inclusive practices inspired to the positive values of Sport practice (fair-play, equality, respectful cooperation, teamwork).
– Personal Development: Acquisition of knowledge, competences and skills (soft as well as transversal) supporting the personal development and fulfillment of the youth both in life and in society (employability, education, participation).
– Intercultural Dialogue: Fostering mutual knowledge, positive interaction and cooperation among young people from different backgrounds (locals and migrants) with a view to contrasting the roots of discrimination and racism phenomena.
Trainers and Athletes will cooperate as an organic work-group in the performance of a specific research on existing good practices, whose assessment and processing will provide the grounds for the creation of the learning programme.
Final outcome of the whole project will be a Guide in multiple languages illustrating the project as well as the methodologies employed/developed therein as a best practice providing a benchmark/model for NGOs, Sport organizations and Sport operators external to the Consortium and to the partner countries.