Generations Uniting through Sport project starts in Copenhagen


ISCA and six international partners gathered in Copenhagen for the first ISCA project kick-off meeting of the year to start work on the new Generations Uniting Through Sport (GUS) project. The project will run five national pilots, drawing inspiration from Youth Sport Trust’s successful Active Across Ages programme, which aim to engage more local organisations, trainers and individuals in delivering inter-generational sport and physical activities.  

At the in-person meeting on 1-3 February, ISCA led the partners, including Youth Sport Trust International (UK), Sports Union of Slovenia, BG Be Active (Bulgaria), Deporte Para La Educacion Y La Salud (DES) (Spain), Stichting Hanzehogeschool Groningen (Hanze) (the Netherlands) and Azur Sport Sante (France), through a series of coordination workshops punctuated with active breaks led by ISCA’s Youth Officers.

Perhaps this was already the first example of generations uniting through movement? Although the project will focus on more “extreme” age differences, Youth Officers leading established staff from seven organisations in active icebreakers was a fun and symbolic start to the partnership.

But what about the project? Over the course of the two-year Erasmus+ Sport Collaborative Partnership, the partners will identify, recruit, train and support a cohort of experienced practitioners who will facilitate local-scale collaboration projects between young people and older people to increase their participation in physical activity and sport. 

These actions will be delivered as five pilots (in Bulgaria, France, Slovenia, Spain and the UK), which will involve selecting and training the practitioners (face-to-face and online) before they facilitate the interaction between young people and older people to co-design and deliver 60-minute physical activity sessions over a period of 8 weeks. The outcomes of the pilots will be turned into a sustainable GUS programme model that will be fine-tuned based on feedback from surveys conducted before-during and after the pilots. 

An e-learning course will be developed to help roll out the model further and will be made available for all EU-countries and beyond at the conclusion of the project at an international conference.

As a result, the GUS project will promote health-enhancing physical activity among two key demographic groups: 

•    Older people (defined as those 65 years old and over for the purpose of this project) whose participation in physical activity and sport tends to decline as they age 
•    Young people (for the purpose of this project defined as those 24 years and younger), whose life long physical activity habits are in their formative stage.

At the same time, the project will work closely with carefully selected local partners and national coordinators during the pilot phase to ensure that it reaches particular cohorts of young people: not currently in education, employment or training, from low socio-economic backgrounds, from a minority or migrant background, and/or with special educational needs and disabilities.

Several of the project partners will bring expertise from similar initiatives in their own countries, including the Active Ageing Festival (Sports Union of Slovenia), school-based programmes (Spain) and Active Across Ages in the UK. 

“We’re really excited about this because of the impact Active Across Ages is already having and because staying physically active is important for older people in terms of staying in their own homes. So we’re really excited about being part of this project,” Helen Vost, Managing Director of Youth Sport Trust International and ISCA Vice President said at the kick-off.

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Key facts
Project period: January 2023-December 2024
Co-funded by: Erasmus+ Sport Cooperation Partnerships
Grant amount: €400,000

Project partners: ISCA (lead coordinator), Youth Sport Trust (UK), Sports Union of Slovenia, BG Be Active (Bulgaria), Deporte Para La Educacion Y La Salud (DES) (Spain), Stichting Hanzehogeschool Groningen (Hanze) (the Netherlands) and Azur Sport Sante (France).

Posted on 06/02/2023 by ISCA

"Project is funded by the European Union. Views and opinions expressed are however those of the author(s) only and do not necessarily reflect those of the European Union or the European Education and Culture Executive Agency (EACEA). Neither the European Union nor EACEA can be held responsible for them."