Sport for Active Citizenship: Athletics Academy
Under the leadership of ENGSO Youth Young Delegate Špela Hus from Slovenia, the ‘Athletics Academy’ aims to educate and connect the teenagers aged 14 and above.
The first goal is to educate young athletes in topics that will help them become both better athletes and citizens. Although the topics do not cover subjects related to the training process, auxiliary skills are prioritised instead. These skills address aspects of nutrition, PR/marketing knowledge, mental training, basic financial knowledge, injury prevention and anti-doping. The second objective aims to create a community of young people who love athletics and are willing to utilise their newly acquired knowledge beyond their competitive career.
This opportunity affords new young people to create innovative ideas and partake in their area of interest. These include competition management, officiating, anti-doping, medical, coaching, federation management, PR/social media management, volunteer management, media, sports law, advocacy in governing bodies, etc. The short-term goal of the academy is to nurture sixty youngsters by the end of the year.
In order to implement these objectives, the academy hosts ten monthly meetings throughout the year. Eight of these meetings are related to skill development (mainly through workshops), while the others focus on team-building activities. The academy aspires to gather an educated and thinking group of individuals by the end of the project. It also aims to facilitate cross-sport and cross-border cooperation.
Overall, the impact of the initiative remains unknown as the academy has only completed two meetings. Špela is encouraged by the start of the project and claims that the most important lesson from her experience leading the academy is to remain patient.
The text is taken from the Sport for Active Citizenship toolkit, the most important outcome of the 2019 Young Delegates meeting in Budapest, Hungary.
The Young Delegates meeting 2019 was supported by the Council of Europe through the European Youth Foundation.