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Healthy Body, European Spirit
Start date: Aug 3, 2016, End date: Apr 2, 2017 PROJECT  FINISHED 

The project “Healthy Body, European Spirit" is a Youth Exchange with Program Countries promoting intercultural encounters and healthy lifestyle by performing sports that are traditional in different European countries, which will take place in Maceira, Portugal, in September 2016. The motivation to organize this youth exchange was derived from the awareness that sport can be a very effective means for bringing people from different background together and creating a multicultural environment. In particular, “Healthy Body, European Spirit” aims at reaching the following objectives: emphasizing the significance of living a healthy lifestyle through practicing different sports and games and underlying the positive results that they bring; strengthening the intercultural connection in Europe through presenting Europe’s multiculturalism in the form of sports and games that are traditional in different parts of Europe; stimulating active European citizenship through non-formal learning workshops tackling current European issues; stimulating cooperation between organizations and young people at European level through providing grounds where they can share and learn from each other’s experiences, practices and ideas for future projects, and jointly realize a proposed project programme. “Healthy Body, European Spirit” will be realized with 30 participants, primarily young people between eighteen and thirty years of age who are interested in healthy lifestyle and sport, from Portugal, Turkey, Macedonia, Czech Republic and Latvia.During the youth exchange, the participants will have the chance to share and demonstrate games and sports that are traditional for their country/region, and together as a group, work on creating a unique European game. In this way, we are aiming at addressing the need for promotion of healthy lifestyle among young people, motivating them to break the physical inactivity and passivity resulting from the influence of Internet social networks and everyday static living in Internet communities, and highlighting the meaning and importance of traditions and intercultural connection in Europe. Non-formal and informal learning sessions in which the participants will take part in performing sports and games, and then reflect on the benefits that the particular sport or game brings is the key activity in this youth exchange. In between these sport sessions, there will be a number of other non-formal and informal learning activities related to the project's objectives: creative presentations of partners where all partner organizations will present themselves and establish partnerships between them for future projects; intercultural learning workshop, active & European citizenship workshop; intercultural evenings in which all national teams will present their countries through music, dances, traditional clothes, food, souvenirs, thus learning about each other's cultures; work in mixed groups, discussions, presentations in which the participants will be able to practice their presentation, communication and leadership skills, ability to work in teams and in multicultural environment.Products of “Healthy Body, European Spirit” will be a distinctive European game that the participants will create together combining components of all traditional games presented during the youth exchange, a video summarizing the youth exchange that will be used for promotion of the project and the Erasmus + Programme, and the new knowledge about European sports and cultural mixture that the participants will acquire, together with their improved organizational, leadership and communication skills. The impact that this project attempts to achieve is to make the youth be more aware of the benefits of living a healthier and more active lifestyle and, by presenting European traditions and promotion of the European cultural diversity and the benefits from understanding and accepting European multiculturalism, to contribute to strengthening the much needed cohesion on the European continent and the sense of European identity. Finally, this project will hopefully add to the elimination of the image of sport and sport arenas and fields as a place for nationalistic hatred, an image that is still widely present across Europe, and to the idea to perceive the world as a field solely for cultural and sport competition among nations.
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