First meeting under the Youth Sport Development Ambassadors Project
11.01.2017
Between 10 and 12 January 2017, a first meeting of the Youth Sport Development Ambassadors project was held in Budapest, Hungary. The project will take place within two years and will focus on activities connected with volunteering in the sport field and which promote the social inclusion of young people aged 16-24. A major focus will be on the development of four Youth Sport Development Ambassadors from each country to be empowered to develop projects with target groups of young people from ethnic minorities and migrant backgrounds. The Bulgarian sport development association is a project partner responsible for the activities in Bulgaria, and the meeting was presented by Joanna Dochevska - Chairwoman of the Board.

At an EU level the need to develop sport for social inclusion and migrant populations is seen as a priority, Social inclusion is among the EU's priorities for the role of sport in society. “By bringing people together, building communities and fighting attitudes of xenophobia and racism, sport has the potential to make an important contribution to the integration of migrants in the EU.” EC website 2015.

The Youth Sport Development Ambassadors (YSDA) project aims to pay close attention to this group of young people in the seven partner countries through youth-driven events based on volunteering. Micro projects will be implemented in each country, which will be united by the following common themes: involvement, project management, participants' satisfaction, and new opportunities for participants. The projects will be implemented by 4 young people in each country who will be young sports development ambassadors and will implement projects aimed at young people of their age who have a greater need for socialization in our society.

The project will specifically provide EU added value through the following activities:
1) Investigation into the effectiveness of peer-led interventions in promoting sport and physical activity among disengaged young people from ethnic minority/migrant populations in 7 EU partner countries;
2) Development of a mobile application and website as a sustainable online resource specifically designed to utilise the skills of young people in using social media and technology to provide instant data and feedback on activity at an EU level;
3) Different training and promotional activities, as well as expert meetings.

The main activities of the project will be:
1) Training of young sports development ambassadors - Wales, 2017;
2) Mobility for the exchange of experience of young sports development ambassadors - Partner countries, 2017;
3) Implementation of 10 Week Micro Projects in Vulnerable Communities - Local Level, 2018;
4) Concluding Conference on the Project - Italy, 2018.

All the details of the project were discussed during the meeting, the timing of the project activities, the work activities, the communication and the logistics details were synchronized. The partners decided the procedure for choosing four young sports development ambassadors from each country to start in early February 2017.

Partners in “YSDA” project are innovative consortium of organizations from United Kingdom, Slovenia, Portugal, Italy, Poland, Hungary and Bulgaria. Project is co-funded by “Erasmus+” Programme of European Commission - Collaborative Partnerships and will be implemented in 24 months.