Programme & action: ERASMUS+, Key Action 1: Training Course
Venue: Larnaca, Cyprus
Dates: 24-31 March 2016
Please read the info-pack
Participating countries: Cyprus, Malta, Italy, Spain, Czech Republic, Greece, Poland, Estonia, Slovakia
Hosting organisation: NECI
Please visit the project website: http://necicyprus.wix.com/pbssi2016
Or visit the project Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/groups/1681323928819094/
I found this training course on website of my organization (EYCB) on begin of year 2016. From the beginning when I read the infopack and all information I had strong feeling that everything will be very well organized. The topic of Training course is also very close to myself when I am in touch with the young people when playing floorball in my city. Therefore I decided to apply for this Trainig Course.
When I was selected to take a part, all the communication with organizers was very fast and smoothly. The answers for any question was during hours and also managing of traveling vent quite smoothly. Based on this experiences I expected very high level of training and I was looking forward to take part at this course.
I have to say in advance that my expectation has been fulfilled. All training went very well and the organizers was cooperated team which worked very hard during whole week. Everything began for me when one of support staff member picked up me on the airport. After short ride to venue of project, Cactus Hotel in Larnaca, I had chance to meet the people who already arrived. The first evening has been in very friendly atmosphere which luckily remain for whole week. The first activities was focused on getting to know each other and names games. Thanks to that we were able to remember all the names quite quickly.
After this relaxed activity and Icebreakers games we had first workshop focused on recognition of stereotypes and marginalization on the sports fields. All of us realized that sometimes we can even not noticed that somebody or some group is excluded during various sports. Even when this excluded person is part of team, does not mean it that is not facing kind of marginalization.
When the times flows to the next days, every morning we had a sport activity on the school playground near our hotel. This activity has beginning early but it was very nice refreshment after morning. We had chance to take breakfast after this sports which wake up us to the everyday with very pleasant way. This morning sports was focused mainly on not so usual kind of sports like softball, dodge ball and different kind of ball games modified mainly for the decreasing of competitive level and provide opportunity to include people with different kind of special needs. During the days we had a chance to discuss the morning games and find the way how to modify more considering other kind of disabilities (blind people, wheel chair, mentally disabled etc.).
From the theoretical activities placed during day we went through different workshops focused partially on theory and partially on “learning by experience” methods. From the most interesting for me I can name the one when we simulated different kind of disabilities among the group and cooperate together to achieve the task – to build the Babylon tower. It was very interesting for me to watch how different teams understood the task especially considering their disadvantages. At the end, some of results looked quite different than others. The evaluation of the practical workshops and the discussion about follow ups took place also after each activity and it was very interesting to see how the other participants perceive the tasks.
One full day was taken by implementing of games on the sports field – in the gym. The task was to invent our own game or modified the existing one to suit it for excluded people (typically people with some special needs). Together we had 4 groups and each group introduce very interesting results which at the end implemented and we played it together. This day I see as highlight of the training course when we could feel the sense of excluded people on our own skin. Also the discussion at the evening even in our free time was mainly about this topic.
Every evening also took place the evaluation of the day with small comfy groups. I didn’t know this way of evaluation but I like it very much. The point was that for first approximately 10 minutes we have to things about the day alone and make a notes from the day. Then we had our comfy-buddy to speak in couples and then to speak in small groups about 5-6 peoples together with the facilitator. This way of evaluation provide us with the possibility of more carefully listening to other people in our group and also to better express our ideas and opinions then the discussion in big group. As the important thing which I have to highlight is the fact that our ideas for improvement was implemented during next days by trainers and organizers and we could together achieve contentment on all sides. The main evaluation took a place at the last day and for whole afternoon we could talk about the project. Almost everything was evaluated with very high quality and nobody has any big complains.
We as a participants had also some free time when especially during the evenings and lunch breaks we had chance to explore the Larnaca city and the near see side. With the fact that most of times we went to the town together is proving that the whole group worked as a team even in the free time. However to the free evenings we had also intercultural evening when we had a chance to introduce our countries and provide to others people a bit from our culture. And of course also a bit from our sweets, foods and drinks.
In this place I would like to bring a big compliment to the organizers which made an amazing job with this project. I am strongly convinced that the initial task was not easy but all the effort which has been made bring incredible results. It’s not enough just to say “Thank you”. I would like to express that the approach of all involved people give me new energy for work and for life for which I am very grateful. I wish that all the other project would be make with such quality.
Let me share with you some information about one Erasmus + project, I recently participated in. It took place on the magnificent island of Cyprus in cozy city of Larnaca, where each day was full of new experiences and atmosphere of universal unity. All those unique people from different European countries, which gathered together in Larnaca, were united by the common topic “Social inclusion”.
I would like to say several words about the accommodation as it is the first thing you will draw your attention to, especially after a long trip to the island. The group of participants stay in Cactus hotel, where we spent most of our time by doing training sessions, as well as having meals or night rest. Some of the sport activities were held at the stadium which was located only 5 min walk from the hotel.
Let’s now focus on the core idea of the project, which was based on the abilities to apply sport activities to increase social inclusion. First, we had to take into consideration the existence of various types of unintegrated people, which could be disabled, having Ill health or just being self-conscious. It represents an opportunity to consolidate all efforts and identify the solution on how to change, or better to say, how can each of us correct or even invent new kind of sport activity to involve people this way. As a part of the training session was to create an activity for people, who don’t feel comfortable in a society and to present it with our colleagues, even better to use the word “friends”, because, in my opinion, after few teambuilding activities all participants truly became friends.
We also talked a lot about disabled people and discussed different ways of adapting sport activities for them, about pros and cons of popularization of such activities. We particularly had an interesting hours of discussion about Dewey’s and Kolb’s theory, and also about different kinds of tools for social inclusion.
I would also like to add that every day started and ended with some sport activity. And even though, I’m not a sporty kind of person, new games and activities I have tried for the first time in my life gave me tremendous motivation for my personal inclusion in society. Among my favorite sport activities during the project were doubtlessly yoga and tango classes.
I would also like to mention the intercultural evening with a lot of opportunities of tasting all kinds of traditional food and beverages during participants’ presentations. Night out at a traditional tavern will stay in my heart for a long time for creating very friendly atmosphere, tasty food and Greek dance.
Finally, I would like to say big thanks to all organizers, professional training team and for sure to EYСB, which made it possible for me to discover myself and to score for social inclusion.