BSDA is partner in Hike together project
According to the results of the latest Eurobarometer survey on sport and physical activity, almost half of respondents (46%) never exercise or play sport and the number of Europeans who never exercise or play sport has increased from 42% to 46%, and this is a continuation of a gradual trend since 2009. Northern Europe is more physically active than the South and East. In particular Austria 40%, Bulgaria 68%, Italy 62% and Croatia 56%. 15% of Europeans do not walk for 10 minutes at a time at all in a weekly period, and 12% sit for more than 8.5 hours per day. Hiking is a physical activity increasing participation in physical exercise by several reasons: it can be done whole year around, it does not require special skills, facilities or expensive equipment, it has health benefits and low risk of injury and walking itself is physical activity to begin and maintain as a past of physically active lifestyle. Hiking offers many health benefits like controlled obesity, gives a cardio workout (stronger workout by using poles) or cardiovascular activity that increase heart rate and fasten breathing by inhaling fresh air, hiking on uneven terrain works muscles while improving balance and stability and increases the amount of energy your body uses by 28% compared to walking on flat ground, 90-minute hike in nature has dramatic effect on the brain and the way we feel. Just one hour of hiking can burn well over 500 calories. Hiking itself is promoting social inclusion by not giving barriers to participation in the physical activity. Participating in hiking, joining mountian clubs or groups are examples of ways in which young people can participate in their community, learn new skills, and socialize beyond their family boundaries.

Hiking is a social activity because hikers always recommend using the buddy system. One of the great things about hiking and walking as a hobby is that there are almost no restrictions on who can take part, and how they can go about it. This means that as activities go, there are few better ways to enjoy the company of friends, loved ones, and even strangers, than by engaging in a hike together. Compared to the gym, hiking will only need just a few stuff and the hiking shoes. Another thing about hiking is that its nearer to our house and its also a free kind of service of facility. Its an inherently social activity, and by inviting along those dear to you, it can give you a fantastic chance to spend some real, quality time together. A regular weekend meet-up or a planned long-distance trek can help you forge bonds while shaping up. Plus, interaction with the larger hiking community encourage to engage with young people workout as a lifestyle, rather than a chore, which will make young people more likely to stick with it for the long haul.

Project Hike together contributes to raising awareness of the importance of health benefits of physical activity through walking in nature as a natural exercise through increased participation in hiking and trekking. Project Hike together is more focused on young people from disadvantage background, to promote hiking and walking in the nature is a basic to many sporting activities, wellbeing and fitness. Hike together Encourage social inclusion and equal opportunities in sport.

Specific goals:
  • To increase the knowledge, acquire new knowledge and experience of using hiking as a tool for social inclusion of young people from disadvantage background and promotion of equal opportunities and bringing together people, regardless of their age, sex, origin, financial status, etc.
  • To create an innovative network of professionals, devoted to active living from different parts of Europe, who will be committed to the project not only during project life, but also after the project end with development and growing network of mountain guides.
  • Raise awareness on the added value of hiking and physical activities in relation to the personal, professional and social development of individuals through all planned project activities, in particular with the dissemination events will implement in the partner countries as well as local hiking events.
  • To promote access to volunteering in sport and strengthen volunteers skills and management of activities related to nature environment of hiking clubs and improving their role as a professional providers of services in local communities.

This European project is an opportunity to examine and reflect upon the issues around inclusion from different perspectives, to learn from different countries and cultures by sharing knowledge about new ways of working, and to clarify ideas around a common understanding of inclusion. It will also help to build a wider and better European network to tackle the challenges around how to be more inclusive within Europe. Erasmus Sport is an effective instrument in promoting the inclusion of people with disadvantaged backgrounds.
Project team includes partners from 4 countries: Coordinator from Austria: The Innovative Education Center, Bulgaria: Bulgarian Sports Development Association, Italy: "Iniziativa Democratica", Croatia: Rijeka Sports Association
Length of the project: 2 year - starting January 2020.
Project number: 613485-EPP-1-2019-1-AT-SPO-SSCP
Project name: Hike Together

Activities to be organised:

  • 1. Mapping the local hiking/walking ecosystem: Information about local hiking/walking/sport associations, clubs and public bodies (municipality, schools, hiking clubs, universities) dealing with sport, health and environmental promotion with special reference to hiking and walking in the nature. Information for qualitative research will be gathered using online surveys. Survey may be conducted by phone, mail, via the internet, and sometimes face-to-face.
When: July - December 2020
Who: Each project partner will map region they come from or whole country.
Three events are planned in each partner country.

  • 2. Explore hiking: Dissemination events in each partner country
1 day event promoting hiking and walking in nature and gathering newcomers to join mountain/walking/youth club activities. (quiz about nature/local area, climbing, geocaching, photo contest in the nature, animals tracking)
When: Event date will be chosen by each project partner individually between 1. May 30. June 2021.
Who: Each project partner will organize dissemination event in region where will be mapping of ecosystem conducted.

  • 3. Twin city volunteering challenge: Dissemination events in each partner country
Volunteering event in local natural area used for walking in the nature. Each partner will invite twin partner from different country to join the contest on local level and promote volunteering by the activity in local area and compare results published in websites, social media channels of the twin partner organisations as well as local newspapers. Contest of volunteers between the two cities would make the events more attractive also for newcomers volunteers, who care about the nature and would like to start walking/hiking in the nature. Hike together Encourage social inclusion and equal opportunities in sport.
When: Event date will be chosen by each project partner individually between 1. April 2020 30. September 2021.
Who: Each partner will invite twin partner from different country to join the volunteering contest.

  • 4. Hike for all: 1 day Local hike in each PP country
Introduction 1. Day hike with newcomers gathered by Dissemination events in each partner country.
When: Event date will be chosen by each project partner individually between 1. July 30. September 2020.
Who: Each project partner will organize at least 1 day local hike in the country. In case of transport, food of special equipment is necessary for participants in local hike, Exceptional costs can be used for this purpose

Project Hike together is co-funded by ErasmusPlus Programme of the European Union.