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Dive into Sports
Start date: May 1, 2015, End date: Oct 31, 2015 PROJECT  FINISHED 

This project was developed in Peniche, Portugal and lasted for 7 days, from 27th June until 5th July 2015. The Youth Exchange was based on non-formal education; our goals were to bring together youngsters from different countries: Croatia, Italy, Bulgaria and Portugal. The Dive into Sports project aimed at providing young people with a framework for a healthy lifestyle by focusing on participation in sports and outdoor activities, fostering the tolerance and sense of respect and promoting an active participation of young people in society. Considering the current situation of social youth life, AJP, in cooperation with the partner organizations, intended to make a project which led to the improvement of competences of young people as far as healthy habits are concerned. By providing the participants with several types of activities such as debates, workshops, ice-breakers and role-plays, as well as real sports practice, the project gave them a platform for learning more about the advantages of sportive and healthy activities and made them reflect about their own lifestyle as well as the reality of the community to which they belong. We were able to achieve the following objectives: ? Encourage participation and social inclusion of young people through sports; ? Develop the sense of participation by integrating people from different nationalities in one group; ? Through the experimental practice of sports and group work it was intended that each youngster found his/her space in the project and enriched personal development simultaneously with the enhancement of self-esteem; ? Improve the sense of European citizenship in young people through sports. The project enabled the participants to acquire self-confidence when they were confronted with new experiences, trying out different sports, complemented with the workshops centered on the debate around the advantages of active and healthy behaviour. On completion of the program, we believe participants became more aware of the outcome of irresponsible attitudes regarding their own health and have acquired skills, competences and knowledge which enabled them to contribute to social and personal development. They also showed to have become sensitized by the importance of using sports for health education and social inclusion, being impressed by the need of developing activities for the promotion of healthy lifestyles when back to their communities. Methodology: The youngsters were divided in 3 multicultural groups, in which they had the opportunity to share their competences with the others and to learn from the rest of the group and from the leaders. The most important aim was to work the main topic of the exchange together - sports. In the end, we organized an exhibition to show the final work of every group to the local community, to put in evidence it is possible to cross cultural borders through sports activities and this is a valuable way to get to know other cultures, diverse systems/realities and differences.

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