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Active celebration concludes GEM project in Hungary

By Rachel Payne, ISCA

How many project meetings have you attended where four of its partners start the week with a half marathon and one (aged 76!) runs 10km in the same event? And another masters a traditional sport the first time she plays it? 

When you gather a group of physical education experts for a Grassroots Exchange and Mobility (GEM) in Sport, you should expect to see some physical activity “gems” on your study tour. That’s exactly how the Hungarian School Sport Federation (HSSF) and its six Western Balkan and four western European partners celebrated the conclusion of the GEM project in Hungary in September.

The group met in Budapest to celebrate the Budapest Half Marathon as participants or the project’s cheer squad and travelled on to Ráckeve for the project’s closing conference and a study tour of St. Imre Catholic Primary School’s physical education programme, led by HSSF expert and European School Sport Day coordinator Dávid Kókai.

“At the end of the day, we all face similar problems so can find similar solutions”
“If somebody asks if this type of project is good for networking and finding new partners to start to think together in a common project, my answer is yes,” said Éva Horváth from HSSF in the highlights video we filmed in Ráckeve (see below). “These few visits to each other and the webinars we made were good opportunities to get to know each other and try to find some common points where we can go further and further.”

The exchange allowed the partners to travel to five different countries to visit schools and community sports initiatives there: Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Spain, the UK and Hungary. It was a rich learning experience for Sanja Ugren from the Serbian School Sport Federation.

“I learned a lot really,” she said. “The way of organising of school sport systems and physical education in school projects are implemented in partners’ countries was a great inspiration to me because I know that I want to do something similar in my country.”

Bilyana Popeska from the Federation of Sports Pedagogues of the Republic of North Macedonia agreed.

“I think that projects like this are very important for all of us, especially to connect countries that have different backgrounds – educational backgrounds and also different backgrounds in sports. At the end of the day we are all faced with similar problems, so regardless of our backgrounds we have similar problems so can find similar solutions.”

Who was the master of a brand new sport, you might ask? That was Karla Djolo from KINEZIS in Bosnia and Herzegovina, who played shuttlecock like a pro at her first attempt – trading tricks over the volleyball-like net with some of the best juniors from the Hungarian Shuttlecock Association.

“This project is really important for our small association because it’s our first bigger international project and we are really happy that we can learn new things in grassroots sports,” Franjo Lovric from KINEZIS commented after the come-and-try session, where he was presented with a shuttlecock from Association president János Fehér to encourage Karla to start her own club in Bosnia! 

And our 70+ year-old hero who promised to finish his 10km run in an hour so he could join the rest of the team for a boat tour along the Danube? That was Rauf Dimraj, the spritely President of the Albanian School Sport Federation! (and he delivered on his promise, btw…)

Wrap-up video
ISCA compiled this highlights video to celebrate the successful exchange and we warmly welcome the project partners into the Moving Schools Alliance. The alliance is an initiative of ISCA, EUPEA, Youth Sport Trust International and Hungarian School Sport Federation and is open to all organisations working in this field. It functions as the central hub of international and national stakeholders and practitioners in all dimensions of school and children’s sport – physical activity, physical education and grassroots sport - in order to strengthen their international presence and visibility.

Moving Schools Alliance
GEM project website 

GEM conference speakers: "Good Practices for Increasing Students' Physical Activity"
Dr Mónika Szabóné Kaj: Introduction of Active School Program in Hungary
Andreu Raya Demidoff: Key elements for making a sustainable transformation of a school into an active and healthier educational community
Sanja Ugren: Active Schools Program in Serbia
Biljana Popeska: Best practice presentation from North Macedonia
Vivienne Holt: Brain Gym and activities for all
Nadica Jovanovik: Active schools’ activities and programs - positive practice from North Macedonia
Claude Scheuer: Healthy and Physically Active Schools in Europe (HEPAS project)
Xheni Dimraj: Best practice presentation from Albania
Dávid Kókai: The theory of organising a movement festival

Posted on 29/09/2022 by Rachel Payne, ISCA


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