October 2019 – Portugal
Here we are, the European week of sport has arrived and 4 young adventurers with a desire to learn are ready to represent L’Orma in an international project. The Erasmus+ EMPOWER (U) project has already started in Portimão (European Capital of Sport 2019) and our boys will be part of a group of 40 young people/adolescents from 7 countries from 10 EU organisations, who will work on the theme of “Empowerment for Life and Sports”.
The Opening Ceremony was attended by the Municipality of Portimão, CNAPEF and APEF Algarve. “Alone I go fast, together we go far”, and these young people want to go far, with the guidance of their trainers, which immediately illustrates the program that they will face during the week.
On this first day, participants from 7 EU-countries are getting to know each other so that this week they can develop the “Empowerment for Life and Sports”, in order to pass this knowledge on to others in their countries of origin. In the afternoon, they divided into groups to address different issues. They had group tasks, where the diversity of opinion, team spirit and, in general, the capacity of teambuilding was put to the test, within the framework of “Empowerment for Life and Sports”. It’s time to cook, the 40 participants prepare traditional foods and drinks from their countries, explaining their origin and flavours, in a conviviality that allowed a reinforcement of the objectives of this project. After the international dinner, it’s time to rest and prepare for the second day.
A good awakening with a hearty breakfast and we are ready to face this day with theory, concepts and new knowledge, to be able to deepen and transform into skills. The whole day was dedicated to understanding the world of non-formal education and education through sport and we saw the differences between non-formal education, formal education, informal education and special education, and between education through sport, education by sport, for sport and with sport. The day ended with a delicious dinner and a free evening.
We are ready for the third day, during which we were received in the noble hall of the Town Hall by the Councillor for Sports and Youth, Teresa Mendes, who welcomed the international delegation. It was an interesting morning in which the councillor not only gave us a warm welcome in the city, but showed us the reality that characterizes the territory: the efficient sports facilities, associations and private companies that promote sport at all levels and all sporting events that involve the city its citizens and tourists. In the afternoon, continued the work done in the previous days, carrying out activities to strengthen our teambuilding capacity. The particularity of the afternoon, however, is that a challenge was launched to the participants: to work on a project in the field of physical education that will be presented and proposed, the following Friday, at the University of Sport of Portimão. Aat night, we got some well-deserved rest in view of the surprise that awaited us the following day.
Thursday is a special day because it is the Paralympicsday. In the morning, we attend practical demonstrations of different Paralympic games and the amazing thing is that we too can later experience and test ourselves by stumbling in these sports. After a really interesting morning comes the surprise: a surf lesson. An afternoon to remember, which ended with a walk along the ocean. Therefore, to make sure we don’t miss anything, in the evening we all go out for dinner, for a moment of sharing which happened around a delicious meal. We easily fall asleep that night because the next day will be the day of the long-awaited presentation of the projects on which the various associations had worked in recent days.
Friday is the last day of this fantastic Erasmus+ project in Portugal. What awaits us is a morning full of content concerning non-formal education and physical education in general. Once arrived at ISMAT, the university of sport, we are welcomed by the students of the institute and by the teacher expert in physical education. All of the associations have offered interesting ideas from which to organize other projects in the field of sport, each country clearly spoke about the specific problems of its territory. L’Orma, in particular, wanted to focus the intervention on the development of autonomy and responsibility of a child in childhood. An interesting project that would involve different realities such as school, family, educational associations, sports clubs and experts in physical education. The emphasis was precisely on educating a child to autonomy and responsibility in general, through sport and non-formal education. At the end of this precious morning, we have a succulent lunch in the hostel. The afternoon is dedicated to reflections, considerations and proposals for improving an Erasmus+ project. In addition, each participant receives a certificate of participation in the project “Empowerement for life andsport” so that they can certify that they have given important knowledge on physical education at 360 °.
The week ended with a lot of content, ideas, considerations and proposals from seven European countries; a week in which the knowledge and skills of each participant contributed to enriching the personal baggage of the others. The hope is that all these proposals will not remain an end in themselves, but that they will be a starting point to create real projects and grow more and more the importance of physical education, because there is no education without physical education.