28 September 2016
As the UK population braces itself to leave the European Union students from Wales’s FE colleges will be looking forward to working more closely with their EU peers.
As part of a successful application for European funds, an innovative sports project is offering the opportunity to four students from Wales to work with students from Slovenia, Poland, Italy, Hungary, Portugal and Bulgaria. The aim of the project is to share best practice and to develop new activities for young people in their communities.
The Youth Sports Development Ambassadors (YSDA) project will target inactive young people in hard to reach ethnic minority populations, aiming to use the enthusiasm and skills of their more active peers to promote new activity. New technology will support the project with the development of a YSDA mobile application enabling YSDAs and participants to share experiences in up to 10 different languages.
The aim of the project is to build on the successful young ambassadors project in Wales and encourage these dynamic young leaders to work with their European counterparts to develop a new network to share ideas on sports development. Students from Wales will lead on the initial training and planning for other countries with a conference in Cardiff in April 2017.
With a value of €380,000, the project will involve over 20 staff, 28 YSDAs and 28 mentors creating over 1000 hours of new activity for a total of 800 participants in 28 micro projects across the EU. Perhaps more importantly it will provide insight into the ability of young people to promote sport and physical activity and manage small community projects.
The project will commence in January 2017 and run for two years with a final conference in Italy in the Autumn of 2018. In Wales the project will be managed by ColegauCymru/CollegesWales and supported by partnerships with Sport Wales, Young Ambassadors Cymru, Welsh Council for Voluntary Action and FE Colleges.
Commenting on the news that the project had received funding, ColegauCymru/CollegesWales Sports Coordinator Rob Baynham said:
“This project is truly groundbreaking in terms of European collaboration among young people involved in sport. The project stands out because it will provide new experiences for the students involved working at a trans-national level, and also create new activity in hard to reach communities and research evidence for national organisations at the same time.”
Chief Executive Iestyn Davies said “Focusing on the skills of our young people in Wales is a top priority with sport and wellbeing also high on the agenda. By embracing the ability of young people to use mobile technology and share their experiences the project is also aiming to leave a lasting legacy for future generations to become more active.”
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