A multisport complex aiming to stimulate sports in small towns in Europe is going to be developed within the "BeRURALactive – Multisport complex in rural reality to empower physical activity motivation" project, which involves organizations from Bulgaria, Lithuania and Slovenia.

In the period 18-22 July 2021, in the town of Kostenets, a training of sport coaches from Bulgaria, Biržai (Lithuania) and Ajdovščina (Slovenia) was held. The coaches had the opportunity to get acquainted with various aspects of sports to be applied in small settlements, as well as their specifics in different age groups. The coordinator of the project is Athletics club KLAS-Kostenets (Bulgaria) and the partners are Bulgarian Sports Development Association (Bulgaria), Birzai Lengvosios Atletikossporto Klubas (Lithuania) and The Ajdovščina Sports Institute (Slovenia).

During the first two days of the meeting the opportunities for sports in small towns were discussed, as well as the need different sports to be taught by one sports specialist, which was also part of the training. With such approaches, children in small towns will have the opportunity to try different sports and to choose the one they like the most, even in the absence of specific sports professionals from each sport. The theoretical training sessions were accompanied by practical ones, and after that the international group of sports specialists had the opportunity to apply in practice their new knowledge with children from Kostenets Municipality.

The "BeRURALactive – Multisport complex in rural reality to empower physical activity motivation" project is co-funded by the Erasmus+ Sport programme of the European Union. "BeRURALactive" will develop the physical abilities of adolescents in small towns through activities in various sports. An innovative multi-sport complex is going to be developed, which will allow children from rural areas to be actively involved in sports activities during their holidays and thus be inspired to continue playing sports.

Increased physical activity will help reduce obesity, which affects at least one in six adults and one in eight children aged 7-8 in European Union countries. 28% of the EU population lives in rural areas, and children who are born and raised there have limited opportunities for sport. There are usually up to two or three sports in such areas, often none. The methodology that the project is going to develop will be an excellent way to increase the sports services offered to children from small towns in Europe.

The innovative multisport complex will allow local children to actively participate in sports activities during their vacations and practice several sports – both individual and collective: athletics, football, swimming, basketball, tennis, informal educational activities through sports.

One of the best ways to develop a child's social skills is through involvement in sports, especially team sports. Getting to know new ideas, listening to others as part of a group, and using communication to solve problems through teamwork are just some of the things children learn from participating in sports. Individual sports will provide an opportunity to show children's leadership skills.

The multisport complex includes non-formal educational activities through sports, as well as the traditional sports of the participating countries. Children learn about life experiences and prepare for life through games. Both games and sport develop physical, cognitive, emotional and social skills.

The physical benefits of sports are well known. The multisport complex that the project is going to develop will be a fascinating way for children to play sports in their free time. They will be able to choose their favourite sport and focus on it, when possible, on their busier days. With the help of the complex, sports will reduce stress and increase mental health by activating children more actively.