Sports for Inclusion — Latvia


Termín konání: 3-10 September 2019

Místo konání: Liepaja, Latvia

Programme & action: ERASMUS+, Key Action 1: Youth exchange

Venue: Liepaja, Latvia

Dates: 3-10 September 2019

Participants: Anna Verichová, Jan Kufa, Lucie Burešová, Michaela Zemanová, Taher Kebab. Michal Királyi

Group leader: Vít Votroubek

Host organisation: Rasio Perspektiva

Participating countries: Latvia, Romania, Spain, Lithuania, Turkey, Bulgaria, Netherlands, Czech Republic

Please read the infopack and project brochure Sports for Inclusion Project Book.

Project report: 

I would like to share with you my memories from Youth Exchange in Liepaja, in Latvia. This nice town at the west seaside of Latvia was hosting us in dates from 3rd to 10th September. We attended on workshops, discussions and study visits together with participants from Bulgaria, Latvia, Lithuania, Netherlands, Romania, Spain and Turkey. As the name Sport for Inclusion is mentioning, project targeted mainly on position of sport in our society, what is its role and current position in complexity and in holistic approach to our bodies.

At the first day we focused on general introduction and getting to know each other. We were playing several games to remember our names. Liepaja is nice town with specific spa ambient. Some of the activities we were playing at the beach. Second day was more connected with exploring the facts about town. For that we used the concept of city game. There were many sculptures showing the importance of sport and rock music history, for example at one of them is playing music while you sit there. The town is also full of specific historical wooden heritage that is like living library symbolized the connection between former German and Russian style in architecture.

At third day we had study visit at local high school. One of our participants showed the technique of martial art movements. He prepared for us also workshop about elf protection techniques. It was very surprising how local students were starting slowly quite well to interact with us. We were divided into teams to think about new game including people with disabilities. That workshop gave basis for next discussion about theory of inclusion and integration in sport. At each evening we had leaders’ meetings. These meetings were for me very inspirational and gave me new insight to practical aspects of project leadership. That evening the intercultural evening also happened. We have tried to be focused on the diversity in presentation of Czech culture and many beverages.

The fourth day we spent outside at the beach and visited rescue station. This station in Liepaja was the first where they started to offer special facilities for people with physical handicap to enjoy the sea. We could try special wheelchair and had short workshop about first aid. Lifeguards told us very interesting details about their job and share some practical hints. This session was very important in case of understanding how important inclusion is, to offer same opportunities for everyone even in areas which we don’t see at the first moment as needed. The goal is to make these people feel that are the part of common society without differences.

At fifth day we visited local museum of Latvian culture which is situated in very nice villa with the typical entrance hall going through two stairs levels. This space is remembering the times of Prussian influence. After that we visited the jewelry workshop of amber manufactory. Most of the amber is from area of Kaliningrad and its elements are moved by the waves through Baltic sea also to Latvia cost side. If you have luck you can find pieces of amber at the beach. At this workshop we tried to create own small jewel. It was very nice unforgettable experience while we tried to grind and polish our final product. We got to know also about healthy results of this mineral for human body because of content of ricin.

Sixth day was more about own contribution and sharing our sport practices, especially about integration of people with disabilities. We got in touch also with problematic of creativity in sport. We could see the wide spectrum of sport activities regarding the possibilities of creative and innovative approach. Czech team took responsibility for part about creativity.

At the last day we had organized trip around the city, trip to Karosta with former army buildings. There are many concrete bunkers directly placed on the seaside. They had been playing important role during first world war and in that times were very developed compared to common standard in beginning of 20th century. Nowadays some of them are already at the sea and creating very spectacular scenery. This seaside location is giving many opportunities for different sport activities. During this trip we also visited orthodox church and technical heritage of historical bridge. This revolving bridge we saw in movement while the boats were going through the channel. It is only one bridge of this type of mechanism in Baltic countries. At the ending of day, we devoted to Youth Pass ceremony and last farewell.

In conclusion, I would like to underline that project was focused more on practical interaction and study visits. The amount of frontal session inside was minimalized in order to fill specific needs of each participant. We could have more time for self-reflection and for exploring the creative segment of the sport.

Vít Votroubek

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