While we eagerly look forward to the results of the open call in the field of sport within the ERASMUS+ program, relevant for continuation of work on the concept of “Life Champions”, it is a perfect moment to draw the line when it comes to the project “Creating life champions: standing together for a healthy and safe community” from 2021, by launching a manual on the introduction of non-formal education in sports, all with the aim of revitalizing the pedagogical and educational role of sports coaches.
“Module for trainers – how to use training and continuous work to introduce topics of everyday relevance for children and youth” is the main result of the project implemented last year by Development Center for Youth as a coordinator, with financial support from the European Union’s Erasmus+ program. The project was implemented in partnership of 3 sectors – sports, education and youth, with the participation of 10 partners from Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Slovenia, North Macedonia and Turkey.
– We are proud of the fact that we exceeded expected results of the project, primarily through the organization of two educational-sports camps for younger categories of football players, during which young coaches tested the module under the supervision and mentoring support from the educational team. Thanks to these 2 activities, more than 400 youngsters and their coaches got an opportunity to become part of our activities. In addition to the module for the introduction of non-formal education in/through sports, as the main result of this process, we note that the total number of participants can be expressed as follows: 40 coaches, 1,000 children and 5,000,000 people who learned about our project activities through active promotion in the media and the Internet. Our goal is to create life, not just sports champions, and that is what we will work on in the years ahead, counting on the significant support of coaches, club management, parents, media, but also other actors of relevance. We believe that we are all interested in shifting the focus from top athletes to top people if we want to nurture a society of true values and principles – said the program director of Development Center for Youth and project coordinator Aleksandra Knežević.
The concept was supported by many football stars, former and current football players and coaches, including three project ambassadors, national team members – Aleksandar Mitrović from Serbia, UNICEF Ambassador Edin Džeko from BiH and Goran Pandev from North Macedonia, as well as 21 friends of the project. Media support was provided by TV Arena Sport with a significant regional audience.
We consider the meetings with parents of children who went through our educational activities to be a special “added value” of the project, and the first part of 2022 will be marked by the organization of a camp for parents, in order to harmonize joint positions on further promotion of all values and principles that the concept of Life Champions strives for.
Development Center for Youth as the project coordinator has the partners in FC Grafičar (Serbia), FC Sloga Doboj and FC Željezničar Sarajevo (BiH), FC Gorica (Croatia), FC Maribor (Slovenia), FC Pelister, Ss. Cyril and Methodius University Skopje (North Macedonia) and METU University Ankara (Turkey).