Save the Dream, in cooperation with ENGSO Youth and under the umbrella of Empowering Youth Volunteers through Sport (EYVOL), an Erasmus+ Project, delivered a training session on Understanding the Role of Sport in the Context of Working with Socially At-Risk Groups ahead of the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF) 2021.

SPIEF 2021 is a unique high-level summit in the field of business and economics that has been held since 2006. This year, the State of Qatar has been bestowed the title of ‘guest country’, meaning that the Qatar delegation, headed by H.H. Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, the Amir of the State of Qatar, was the focus of all events and meetings held within the framework of SPIEF 2021.

The training session was delivered online and made available to 200 volunteers. It provides an extensive overview on how to best utilise sport and sport-based interventions to integrate socially disadvantaged and vulnerable groups into society such as migrants and refugees, individuals with disability, women and girls, senior citizens and Not Engaged in Education, Employment or Training (NEETs) and eliminate obstacles that prevent these groups from taking part in organised and non-organised sport.

Sport and physical activity have a direct link with skill and competency development and consequently with employability prospects. Youth sports participation is a popular and valued social activity and adolescents are generally motivated to engage in physical activity regardless of their socioeconomic status.

After the conclusion of the training session the participants were able to:

  • Understand the barriers for migrants and refugees to participate in sports.
  • Identify the main aspects of inclusive sport activity for people with disabilities.
  • Better understand (both theoretically and practically) the key concepts related to working with women and girls.
  • Build a better understanding (both theoretically and practically) regarding the key aspects related to working with the elderly.
  • Understand the link between sport-based interventions and soft skills development.

Carol Jimenez, Senior Manager, Multidimensional Security, and ICSS’ Save the Dream official in charge of EYVOL, said: “Save the Dream is always keen to support the efforts of youth leaders and volunteers in carrying out activities that use sport as a tool for social inclusion.

This training builds on the experience developed over the past two years through EYVOL, which is a transnational initiative co-funded by the Erasmus+ programme of the European Union with involvement of partners from the United Nations Olympic Movement, other sport organisations, academia, and civil society. All these stakeholders work together to develop and implement innovative educational methods to train young volunteers on how to utilise sport to promote inter-cultural dialogue, peace and socio-economic development.”

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