In the period July 3rd and July 5th, 2023, an international partnership meeting for the "SCAED - Sport Community Against Eating Disorders" project was held in Thessaloniki, Greece. Coaches and experts from six partner organizations - Bulgaria, Italy, Poland, North Macedonia, Croatia, and the host country Greece - participated in the event.
During the meeting, various challenges faced by athletes, parents, coaches, and sports organizations related to eating disorders were discussed. The partners outlined the framework of collaboration within the project and officially allocated tasks and responsibilities for its implementation. Representatives from the Bulgarian Sports Development Association, namely Ivaylo Zdravkov, Viktor Fam, and Stoyan Kaynarov, participated in the event.

Many athletes are affected by eating disorders. When examining the psychological profiles of athletes and those suffering from anorexia, some common characteristics are noted: striving for perfectionism, high expectations of themselves, competitive spirit, hyperactivity, systematic training, compulsiveness, tendency to depression, ambition, distorted perception of their own bodies, over-involvement with diets and thoughts about weight.

The common view of eating disorders is that they are a "Western" disease, provoked by social and cultural pressures to achieve an ideal and often unrealistic body image. The truth is that these conditions are actually complex in nature, depend on a number of factors and are present in different societies and cultures. The presence of eating disorders outside the "Western world" are not uncommon. It is a specific fact that we can find anorexia, bulimia and hyperphagia particularly often among the actively exercising members of the population. This has its logical reason. Eating disorders are typical especially for athletes, where weight is directly related to performance.

There are three main reasons for this:
• In sports requiring endurance, such as athletics or biathlon, low body weight is a prerequisite for success, for obvious physiological reasons. Athletes who are a few pounds above their optimal running weight will underperform;
• In sports dividing athletes into categories according to their weight – such as wrestling, judo, boxing, athletes would not be allowed to compete if their weight is above the maximum for their category. Thus, for example, an athlete may return from a competition without even having participated because of his increased weight. This, consequently, leads to serious pressure to lose weight, often in a short time frame;
• In sports such as artistic/sport gymnastics, figure skating or water jumping, aesthetic assessments are also given, so expectations on the appearance of participants are heightened. Serious research indicates a high incidence of eating disorders in these particular disciplines.

Specific objectives of the SCAED project are:
• Reducing the causes of eating disorders in amateur sport;
• Educating coaches and parents on the knowledge needed to combat eating disorders in amateur sport;
• Increase the knowledge regarding eating disorders in amateur sport.

SCAED project is co-funded by the Erasmus+ Programme of the European Union.