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Piloting of the Icehearts Europe model ready to begin in five countries

By Liina Sepp, ISCA

The “first adopters” of the Icehearts Europe model are ready to launch their customised pilots of the successful Finnish initiative for children at risk, Icehearts, in five more countries. The Icehearts Europe consortium met in Estonia on 17-19 April to finalise the second and third work packages of the project and kick off the pilot activities. Here’s a recap of the resources that are now publicly available and the action ahead in this major ISCA project.

A big thanks to partners the Italian Institute of Public Health (ISS), EuroHealthNet and the Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare (THL) for their leadership of work packages 2 and 3 and to the University College of Cork (UCC) for their special advice on the curriculum of the training tools so far. The following deliverables are now available on the project’s dedicated website

D2.1. Icehearts Europe concept description

D2.2 Icehearts Europe implementation manual for organisations

D3.1. and D3.2 Situation Analysis and Needs Assessment (SANA) model for Icehearts Europe pilot countries

All available at

D2.3. Icehearts Europe online training tools for Icehearts mentors in 6 languages

Available at tool  

Before the next step of the project, the project partners took time during the meeting to reflect on where are we now – as we are approaching the midterm evaluation – what deliverables have been completed, which ones are in progress and which are next to come. They discussed the project’s Communication, Dissemination and Sustainability strategies and plans by gathering tools, tips and insights to make Icehearts Europe more sustainable.

All five pilot country representatives, DGI (Denmark), SPIN (Estonia), Fútbol Más Espana (Spain), UISP (Italy) and Sports Union of Slovenia, shared their visions and plans and are ready to kick-off the 18-month piloting of the Icehearts Europe model.

We have also confirmed 14 Associate Partners from France, Poland, Bulgaria, Germany, Czech Republic, Croatia, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Romania, Hungary, Belgium, Portugal and Spain, who will be the “next adopters” of the Icehearts model and will invited to join an on-boarding webinar September and study visit to Finland in January 2025.

What have we learned so far?

As we highlighted at the MOVE Congress 2023, “It takes a village to raise a healthy, happy child” and an ideal Icehearts Europe village is made of the following superheroes:

  • Mentors
  • Sport organisations / Sport educators
  • Social services
  • Prevention unit
  • School staff
  • Municipality manager

And an essential factor is the buy-in from decision-makers within each identified group of stakeholders.

Find out more about the Icehearts Europe project at the official website

Full project partners: ISCA, Icehearts (Finland), EuroHealthNet (Belgium), Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare (THL) (Finland), University of Cassino and Southern Lazio (UNICAS) (Italy), University College of Cork (Ireland), the Italian Institute of Public Health (ISS) (Italy), DGI (Denmark), SPIN (Estonia), Fútbol Más Espana (Spain), UISP (Italy) and Sports Union of Slovenia.  

Associated partners: UFOLEP (France), V4Sport (Poland), BG Be Active (Bulgaria), Deutscher Turner-Bund/Deutscher Turner-Jugend (Germany), SOKOL (Czech Republic), Health Life Academy (Croatia), Latvian Sports Federation Council (Latvia), NEMUNAS (Lithuania), MOVE Malta, Association Sport for all Suceava (Romania), Hungarian School Sport Federation, BVLO (Belgium), Social Innovation Sports (Portugal) and University of Seville (Spain). 

Disclaimers: The materials herein have been produced or are used as a part of an independent partnership Icehearts Europe and should therefore not be viewed as official materials or views of the Finnish organisation Icehearts ry.

"Funded by the European Union. Views and opinions expressed are however those of the author(s) only and do not necessarily reflect those of the European Union or the European Health and Digital Executive Agency (HADEA). Neither the European Union nor HADEA can be held responsible for them."

Posted on 26/04/2024 by Liina Sepp, ISCA


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