Minister Dasheva met the young sports development ambassador for Bulgaria Nikola Zdravkov
23.03.2017
The Minister of Youth and Sports Daniela Dasheva met the ninth grader from the 51st Elementary School "Elisaveta Bagryana" Nicola Zdravkov, who became the Youth Sport Ambassador under the "Youth Sport Development Ambassadors" under the Erasmus + program. Nicola participates in an essay contest entitled "What sport gives us", which describes the problems in this sphere and the basic qualities that develops physical activity. With his text, he became a Youth Sport Ambassador for Bulgaria and will participate in volunteer and projects activities in vulnerable communities over the next two years.

"I hope your message will reach as many people as possible and help bring back the children and students in the halls and stadiums. You and your classmates are a great example and I hope many of your peers will follow you. It is important that everyone knows what they can get from sport, and this is not just the good physical form but also many personal qualities”, Prof. Dasheva said.

16-year-old Nicola is the captain of the basketball team in his class and wrote the essay with his classmates. "I have a weakness for sports from a young age, and recently I see things are going wrong. That's why I decided to take things as far as I can, in my own hands and help. As a young sports development ambassadors, I want to inspire young people to feel about sports like myself. My classmates are mainly interested in football and volleyball, but I also have peers who have never played sports. I try to convince more people that sport is important and that it gives us many advantages", Nicola Zdravkov said.

Minister Dasheva gave Nicola a sports outfit and a football ball with the wish to keep his passion for sport and fulfill his goals as his ambassador.

The "Youth Sport Development Ambassadors" project will be implemented within two years and will focus on volunteer activities in the sphere of sport. Its partners are organizations based in UK, Slovenia, Portugal, Italy, Poland and Hungary, and in Bulgaria it is implemented by the Bulgarian sports development association.

Nicola Zdravkov's essay, who became youth sport ambassador:

What is sport to me and what it teached me

The history of sport can be traced back to ancient Greece until today. Over time, it is becoming increasingly organized and increasingly market-oriented. Through sport, traditions develop, friendships develop, democracy develops. But for me, above all, sport is a way, an instrument and the ability to overcome the challenges that a student, a young boy like me, faces in the 21st century.

Sport is a common language that can be used to promote personal development and as an instrument, useful and very effective, to enhance the knowledge and skills that are useful in today's society. It can encourage young people and students, and along with education can bring values and qualities such as tolerance, freedom, justice and respect. Sport is useful to us, the students, for breaking stereotypes and prejudices such as racism, xenophobia, ethnic intolerance and anti-Semitism. It facilitates the integration process of both social groups, but also of young people with fewer opportunities in society, promotes mutual understanding and dialogue between cultures. For me, sport is a universal language and facilitates the realization of a young person in the environment in which he lives.

Sport is a unique method by which we can fight youth unemployment, homelessness and poverty. For me, it is great because it does not discriminate against any sign, such as gender, race, color, ethnic or social origin, religion, disability, age and even sexually different ones. I want to be a person who lives and develops in a world where these prejudices do not exist.

Although my teammates and I are only 16 years, I have learned that sport develops not only physical qualities (stamina, agility, speed, strength and flexibility) but also the personal ones such as teamwork, courage, perseverance, the ability to make the right decisions, adaptability and persistence, communication that is extremely important for the development of a young person like me. How can you become a team captain if you don’t have quality leadership, you can’t prosper in the sport you practice if you do not have the quality of adaptability. Both in sports and in life, teamwork is extremely valuable. Everything we want to achieve is equivalent to our desire and tenacity. The sport gave me something I did not know - courage, a very useful quality that encourages you to try new things. Only sport gives equal chances, all of the starting line can be winners and have equal rights - unfortunately in the life I know that this rarely happens. To be a complete person you have to have many qualities and many of them are developed through sport.

Here’s why I believe that all schools should be teach physical education and sports, but also invest in improving the material base. More sports should be practiced at school. If we invest in sport now, then we will have healthy, physical, disciplined, more persistent and better social skilled young people. And we all want this - we are the future of our country. We, the youth, want to be as useful as possible to society, and I think this can’t happen if we ignore the sport and the qualities it develops.

In conclusion, my classmates a I want to say that we need more space for practicing sports such as parks, green areas and gardens to build and upgrade on these qualities. Bulgaria needs us, and we need more time and place to practice our favorite sports games. Please invest in our future so that in time we can invest and develop a modern society built on the principles of democracy, equality, solidarity and mutual respect - qualities that sport as an instrument is so good at developing.