The 4 partners in the Erasmus+ project “European Dimension in Sport and Physical Activity with Young People” – #EDSPAA [613355-EPP-1-2019-1-BG-SPO-SSCP] conducted sport workshop and roundtable discussions between 01 and 03 December 2021 in Bankya and Ivanyane, Sofia, Bulgaria. It was inspired by the European Week of Sport concept to #BeActive.
The participants from Association “Sport Club Comac Sport”, Sofia, Bulgaria; Športno Društvo Media Šport”, Ljubljana, Slovenia; “Agrupamento De Escolas De Barcelos”, Braga, Portugal; and “Salas Vidusskola”, Sala, Latvia took part in the organized sports events and panel discussions. Covid-19 lockdown restrictions which constituted a population-wide “life-change event” and disrupted normal daily routines was placed in the center of the first part of the panel discussion. A return to how life was before at the start of 2021 was some way off. The panelists discussed the implications of the virus for sport, exercise and physical activity. Whilst government responses and shutdowns have varied widely, the global response has prompted multiple postponements of the projects and events.
Nevertheless, whilst the pandemic has limited the extent to which people, could move around, exercise and socialize with one another, contradictory many are now more aware of the importance of physical activity, concluded the panel participants. The end of the discussions was marked by the topic of how to promote European traditional sports and games to encourage social inclusion, continuity, communication and physical culture of adolescents in European societies in the times of crisis.
The programme continued with demonstrations of popular games from Bulgaria, Portugal, Latvia and Slovenia, presented and explained in English by Bulgarian young people – members of Sport Club Comac Sport.
Another important aspect of the meeting covered topics such as cultural dialogue through European traditional sports and games, including:
● Cultural differences in sport
● National and European sport values
● Interrelations between sports and health
● Sports in digital age – GAMER vs PLAYER
● Sport players as role models across the EU
“For children and young adults, sport is often a way to socialize and build additional skills. When school and other social interactions are inaccessible, lack of physical activity can cause younger people to experience isolation and even depression. It has therefore become essential for many young people to find new ways to remain physically active. We have noticed that traditional sports had to quickly adapt their models to keep young players and fans engaged. And this rapid change has blurred the lines between traditional sports and E-sports”, commented Dr. Mladen Lambeff – member of the Comac Sports project team.
“However, Covid-19- related restrictions have only increased the appeal of outdoor activities and made initiatives, such as the sport events, organized by us and our partners more interesting because young people are looking forward to participating in outdoor activities after lockdown eases. As a result we can report increase in the participation in the sport events conducted this year”, commented Mr. Stanislav Dzhinsov, from the Comac Sport project team.