Project presentation

Walking you learn: outdoor sports for skills development.

The project focuses on Sport practices in country and mountain environment putting in evidence their strong capacity to promote youth skills development.

Nowadays young people, especially those living in big or small town contest but also those living in small country villages do not practice continuant sports activities in the outdoor and natural environment with negative consequences on their health conditions and development. A big majority play indoors more often than out and many of them have a mainly sedentary life and also no opportunity (due economical disadvantage of the family) to spend time outside in a natural as country or mountain environment. Most of them have a theoretical knowledge about nature (from school, films or social media) but they have not direct experience on what happens to them when they are in nature and what nature can teach them. Respectable scientists as doctors, mental health experts, educationalists, sociologists are beginning to suggest that when kids stop going out into the natural world to play, it can affect not just their development as individuals, but society as a whole, because this cause decline of fitness, decline of initiative and spirit of enterprise, decline of self-discipline. The project partners due to their geographical location and their outstanding cultural and natural heritage decided to promote an experimental educative sports programme with special focus on skills development.

The project proposes to develop organised sport outdoor programs that associate sport activities with social, recreational, developmental and educational aims. The outdoor activities developed by the project will have an impact on non formal competences as: a more positive self-concept and increased self-esteem, improved cognitive autonomy, increased group cohesion, mental health as a state of subjective well-being, autonomy as well as psychological resilience in terms of stress and adversity and reduced school truancy. They will also have an impact on formal competences as: practical knowledge of geography, history, nature, science, biology, astronomy, and self-orientation.

The activities will be strongly connected with the partners geographical natural and historical environment and will be focused on walking, backpacking, hiking, skiing and wilderness navigation techniques. They will be strongly connected with the local natural, environmental and cultural considered heritage: the Alps mountain contest in Italy, the wonderful forests and woods in Latvia and Estonia, the historical and natural heritage of the Santiago Trail in Spain. The activities will be firstly planned by the partner's sport team experts and then experimented with small groups of young coming from the different involved countries.

Project target groups will be young people aged 12-17 that will have the opportunity to experiment the activities planned in the project.
The project will last 2 years from January 2019 to December 2020 and envisages: by distance and in presence planning of sports activities and small group sports exchange activities in open-air environment in presence in Italy, Spain, Latvia and Estonia.

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