The project Encouraging girls’ participation in sports - 2, EGPiS2, was born in the wake of the success of the homonymous previous project EGPiS.
In the past 2 years EGPiS project, supported by Erasmus+ and run by ENDAS (IT), Catalca District Directorate of National Education (TR), the Cyprus University of Technology (CY), Hranice Development Agency (CZ), Varmsland Sport Federation (SW), The Access to Sport (UK), Mirandela Municipality (PT), has investigated the barriers that prevent girls from practicing sports and have developed, tested and assessed a common methodology aimed at overcoming the mentioned barriers.
Amongst the main elements risen, able to keep girls practicing sport both at school and during free time, some have proven to be particularly relevant:
- the sport offer: girls requires diversity in the sport choice and practicing, a non-competitive, inclusive and fun approach;
- the recruitment and the trainer: girls have expressed the need to find a reliable referee, able to support them during the overall process, from recruiting to final performance; availability, inclusive approach are considered fundamental to be found in a trainer/coach; female coaches are particular welcomed in the recruiting phase;
- peer acceptance and incentives: it is important to work with peers and friends of the target group selected in order to promote a friendly and supportive environment, able to create a contagious relation and participation to activities; incentives have proved to be winning;
- parents and social contest: it is fundamental to include parents in the whole training path, sensitizing them on the importance of practicing sport and involving them in the activities. At the same time, especially in multicultural context, it is important to involve social groups in order to share with them the benefits of sport practice.
EGPiS project has mostly focused its attention on the first element, developing pilot projects in 4 Countries (Italy, Turkey, Sweden, Czeck Republic) and developing a structured and assessed methodology that can be found in the final publication of the project.
EGPiS2 will deepen some crucial aspects that were brought to light from the first project. In detail:
- EGPiS methodology (gender issues; environment and premises accessibility, sports offer…);
- how to address and involve social groups (family, peer groups, schools, sport clubs...), with a specific attention to intercultural dialogue;
- how to introduce these themes in the training of trainers and coaches;
- how to address the issue of gender policies, in order to promote equal opportunities for girls in sport.
With EGPiS/2, the partnership has been extended to other 2 organizations - Bulgarian Sports Development Association (BG) and Latvian Sports Federations Council (LV) and it will work in order to:
- keep on investigating the issues identified, focusing on the above mention elements that were only outlined in the past project, mainly trainers training, methodologies and tools for peers, parents and community involvement;
- develop, test and assess an overall strategy for keeping young girls practicing sport, comprehensive of the new elements identified;
- disseminate EGPiS methodology and results in other EU Countries, involving new partners in the project.
The project will then develop a collaborative research phase in the 9 Countries involved (Italy, UK, Portugal, Czech Republic, Sweden, Bulgaria, Latvia, Turkey and Cyprus), and will produce the following intellectual outputs:
- O1 - Research on Social Factors Encouraging Girls' Participation in Sports: an overview on the new themes addressed, best practices and practical examples
- O2 - Encouraging Girls' Participation in Sports - Guidelines N. 2: it will include an update on EGPiS methodology and strategies and tools aimed at addressing social factors and gender policies
- O3 - EGPiS2 Tutorials: User-friendly video tutorials aimed to the various components of the intended recipients: girls, families, workers, organizers, decision makers and local administrators
- O4 - Encouraging Girls' Participation in Sports - Training Course: a formative teaching module for trainers and coaches, aimed at testing project findings and tools, to be tested in pilot projects in the participating Countries.
The results of the pilot phase will be used to assess the Intellectual Outputs produced; they will thus become a shared and common knowledge available for further use and implementation at European level.