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GAME ON Benefits and Best practices
публикувана: 11.09.2019г. 13:01 | прочетена: 675 | коментари: 0


- Active ageing;
The European Year for Active Ageing and Solidarity between Generations was established by Decision No 940/2011/Eu of the European Parliament and of the Council on 14 September 2011. The objectives set out in art. 2 were: “to raise general awareness of the value of active ageing”, to “highlight the useful contribution that older people make to society” and “to promote solidarity between generations and the vitality and the dignity of all people” in order to overcome age-related stereotypes.
- Promotion of healthy lifestyles
Healthy Ageing is the focus of World’s Health Organization work on ageing between 2015 – 2030. Healthy Ageing replaces the World Health Organization’s previous Active ageing: a policy framework developed in 2002. Healthy Ageing, like Active Ageing, emphasizes the need for action across multiple sectors and enabling older people to remain a resource to their families, communities and economies. This means that the adults should be used as resource of traditional sports and games. If a person is given a task to be fulfilled and this task requires the extensive use of the memory of the old people, then the adults will feel important, their self-confidence will be raised and the feeling of being valuable will bring to them positive attitude towards life.
The involvement of ageing patients/users in citizens’ organisations dealing with health, can contribute to the well-being of the whole community, as well as to a better management of the crisis faced by healthcare services in all EU countries.
-  Lifelong learning
Lifelong learning can play a key role in the promotion of active life, both physical and social, and the management of health. It is also a great way to make new friends – think of all the people you could meet on a playground or in the stadium. Studies have shown that those with more active social lives are twice as likely to outlive those who lead solitary lives. Solitude can be fought by developing positive intergenerational relations, by creating suitable environment where three generations can meet together for playing games, taught by the adults. Thus the elderly will be empowered.
- Social inclusion
“(8) Successive European Councils have recognized the need to tackle the effect of ageing populations on European social models” and create opportunities for active participation in social and family life, including through volunteering, lifelong learning, cultural expression and sports.”  
According to experts, the empowerment “is a social action process through which people, organizations and communities develop skills on their own life, by changing their social and political environment in order to better fairness and quality life” (Wallerstein) or “a mechanism allowing people, organizations and communities to boost their capability to control their lives” (Rappaport). Most used tools are communication and education campaigns often set up in cooperation with civic organizations and aimed at involving the elderly as principal actors in the management of their own lives and health.
- Intergenerational activities
Some initiatives have paid particular attention to the topic, such as the promotion of inter-generational dialogue with the students of the Conversation Cafe for Older Citizens of Görlitz or youth project OLd'Up French. On the courses for community agents are often provided training sessions on the interaction with the environment.
The events during the European Year for Active Ageing and Solidarity Between Generations was an opportunity to help bridge the gap between generations and to provide a specific recommendation.
Three general recommendations:
• National governments should ensure universality of older people rights through policies, guidelines and resources that reduce social exclusion
• National governments must develop both Europe and local community strategies on ageing, recognizing to Europe its wealth of ideas and commitments for the future and to local communities their concrete and innovative experiences.
• An ultimate acknowledgment of the elderly population as future main character of European welfare state and resource of cultural heritage. The European institutions have proposed several strategies enabling a worthwhile inclusion of the ageing issue on welfare reforms that would guarantee high levels of universality (EC, 2005.2006, 2007, 2008 and CR 2009, 2011).
“Many older people live a most meaningful life and are a resource for society. They contribute to society, work in a paid or unpaid capacity as volunteers, care for family members and friends, and carry out informal work in organizations and associations.(SNIPH, p. 201). "Healthy and active aging" Report has analytically documented the ability to translate these general tendencies into concrete practices in a large variety of fields (EHN).

- Personal and social skills developed through sports and games
Intergenerational and intercultural learning through traditional sports and games can be achieved by involving the old people who pass their competencies, skills and games rules to the younger generation.
Acquiring a new skill or developing an existing one can help improve and maintain people’s mental well-being. Consider the example of John Salinas. He decided to challenge himself in his nineties by learning about computers, proving that it is possible to learn new things as daunting as the latest technology. He says it has brought back a 'zest for life'.

- Sport games are played since time immemorial and they exert positive influence on the human progress. They promote diversity and intercultural learning: reducing stereotypes, prejudices and discrimination
Sport is a training tool for personal and social development that motivates people to unite for building a better peaceful society where there are no traces of racist attitudes, violence, and manipulation of competitions and disregard of fair play. Through sports people establish friendly relationships, learn to play honestly as team members and acquire soft skills and competencies, vital for their integrity, self-esteem and confidence. The basic values are the three major Olympic values: excellence, friendship and respect, respect for the rules, respect for oneself and respect for others.

Research shows that with the right conditions children can learn values through physical education and sport, and that adult can play an important role in social, mental and moral development of children and youths.
Sports training can be an opportunity to integrate individuals into a group, which can help them determine their personality and understand moral values. Sport and physical activity provide participants with opportunities to take on different roles, to acquire new social skills (tolerance, respect for others), adapt to the team goals (via cooperation, cohesion) and become active through the presentation of others. Trainees learn to take responsibility, to respect the rules, to accept, to seek consensus, to participate voluntarily, to solving questions (D. Tarshis - Council of Europe).
Sports refer to the forms of physical exercises and motion games that can have a spontaneous and competitive character; they come from traditional games and the myths of civilization; its specificity is in the values of contemporary life (Dragnea, 2002: 12).

Sports gathers millions of people, regardless of gender, color, gender, age, nationality or religion, and thus has the potential to play an important role in creating inclusive society. Sports activities ranging from local to national and international level covering leisure and competitive sports can foster the integration of migrants and persons belonging to minorities into the EU society as a whole. In other words, sporting events could be a platform to promote inclusion, acceptance of diversity and mutualism, against discrimination and exclusion.

- Rediscovery of national sports traditions as European heritage
The Museum of Sport was created by a decision of the Bureau of the Supreme Committee of Physical Education and Sport (SCPES) and by a letter from the Ministry of Culture of 26 April 1956. Over 500 exhibits, photos and facsimiles present the first sports associations – tourist companies, clubs and organizations. Among the valuable items of the exhibition are a copy of the first Bulgarian bicycle, personal belongings and awards of our great fighters Dan Kolov and Nikola Petrov. Visitors can see the fencing suit of a Bulgarian Olympian from Amsterdam in 1928, as well as other sporting kits, numerous cups and a collection of medals won by Bulgarian athletes.
An old picture is especially valuable. The original photo was from 1894 and one can see the Swiss gymnastics teachers who arrived in Bulgaria at the invitation of the then Minister of Enlightenment and were distributed in the major high schools in the country. It was those teachers who actually laid the foundation of modern sports in Bulgaria.

- Sense of belonging to EU
The European Week of Sport is a set of initiatives proposed in the 2012 European Parliament resolution to encourage European citizens to take up a physical activity, and the EU supports it through Erasmus+. Social inclusion is among the EU's priorities for the role of sport in society.  Viviane REDING, quoted in Roger LEVERMORE, Peter MILLWARD, "Official policies and informal transversal networks: Creating "pan-European identification" through sport?" The Sociological Review, Vol. 55, n°1, 2007, p. 148. Sport helps craft identifications here in an informal manner through pan-European sporting competitions, such as the UEFA Champions League and 2004 European football championships. Collaborative Partnerships promote the creation and development of European networks in the fields of sport.
Erasmus+ sport programme supports the testing and development of new project formats and new forms of transnational cooperation in the field of sport that are likely to inspire the development, on a larger scale of initiatives.

Collaborative Partnerships also support the implementation of the European Week of Sport which is an initiative launched by the European Commission to promote sport and physical activities in the European Union, in the light of declining participation levels. Erasmus+ school projects also develop the idea of traditional sports and compose booklets with examples of outside games.

- Best Practices
The following Best Practices are collected from all over Europe.
• I am 65+ and happy to live the healthy life - http://www.uvzsr.sk/en/
The project seeks to positively influence the lifestyle of older people through the provision of certificated educational programmes oriented to the following health determinants: social environment, physical activity, nutrition, mental health and health information. It is supposed to prepare about 300 older people to act as 'teachers' in encouraging healthy lifestyles. Main activities: x Campaign "Week for Seniors" (Sept 2004). x National conference (Oct 2004). x Preparation of the certificated educational programme
• Third Age Coach - http://www.thirdagecoach.at
The three-semester training course “Third Age Coach“ is targeted at people 50 years and older who want to work with old and older people alone or in groups. The training course prepares older people for their paid or non-paid (volunteer) work with older people. Coaching of older people and their family members concerning age-relevant themes and topics, the founding of associations and development of project ideas. Third Age Coach empowers older people to implement coaching methods and counseling methods, to teach know-how in a didactical way, to train older people, to recognize agebased crises and to intervene. It also empowers them to realize their own project ideas. The holistic teaching methods of Third Age Coach have the character of lectures, but there are also intensive modules in which autonomous learning and teaching is emphasized. The following teaching methods are carried out: single work, group work; plenary discussions, training simulations, self-reflexive exercises, peer group work.
• Sing for your life - http://www.singforyourlife.org.uk
Provide meaningful and stimulating activities for older people; Create an opportunity for older people to build social networks; 39 Bring together older people, particularly the socially isolated, and unite them through shared musical activities; Offer a platform to share memories and experiences linked to a range of well-known popular songs. Using music and song as a means of promoting the health of older people is highly novel and innovative.
The programme designs and delivers programmes of social music making for older people who may be socially isolated or suffering from the effects of age related health problems. The programmes are delivered through The Silver Song Club network which operates over 30 clubs across the South East region. Clubs meet on a regular basis and sessions are led by trained facilitators supported by volunteers drawn from local amateur music groups. The sessions are open to all and are free of charge. Help with transport is available for those in need and refreshments are provided at most clubs. Silver Song Clubs operate in a variety of venues and are targeted to meet a wide range of different needs. These include sessions specifically designed for participants with late stage Alzheimer's or other degenerative mental health conditions. Sessions are also provided in secure units. The organisation is also in the process of developing Silver Song Clubs for minority groups to reflect their musical and cultural traditions.
• ”Walk and Talk” for older people (60+) in a local area – www.odense.dk
Overall, the project focuses on walking to promote health and prevent illness. The strategy is to extend the focus on motion and exercise in everyday life. Walking trips were chosen to promote health, because it is a simple way to move and an ideal way for older people to exercise, since it does not require special equipment and can take place any time and at any location. The focus is not only on motivating older people to start walking more in their daily life, but also on keeping the new habits by establishing a new walking club or association in the end. It is crucial that older people both want to walk and have the possibilities to continue to walk in order for the project to succeed. That is why the focus is on both walking and social activities, because social activities can especially maintain older people’s motivation to walk more in their daily life.
• Delicious Life - http://www.szu.cz
The main goal of the project was to improve the knowledge and cooking skills of older people to encourage a healthier diet, to enhance their physical activity and increase their motivation for a healthy lifestyle. The project was based on the findings that dietary habits of older people are often inappropriate and their improvement requires not only a nutritional but also a social impact. The form of the project were the so called “Delicious Wednesdays” which contained a short physical warm-up, educational lectures on healthy diet of the main world cuisines (like Greek, Italian, Asian etc.) and practical lessons of their preparation including degustation. The lectures were given by dietary experts, or by seniors themselves. Participating centers organized a “Delicious Wednesday” on a commonly shared methodical approach but always with certain specific elements.
The interactive participation of seniors led to their activation. Participants selected recipes, prepared food and ate together. Participants in the “Delicious Wednesdays” were involved in the development of a desk calendar, which contained the most successful recipes, advice and other health promotion ideas. The fact that the presented food is healthy was not emphasised per se but came out spontaneously as a natural consequence without stressing the rational point of view. This was the intentional strategy of how to overcome distrust and suspicion against healthy food.
The physical warm-up was organised as an integral and organic introductory component of each group session. The aim was not to stress explicitly the healthy content by words but reach healthy effects through natural and pleasurable activities in a friendly company. The project was selected as an example of "best practice" and was offered to international partners for implementation. The project was presented at international platforms and was selected among recommended guidelines "Promoting Social Inclusion", EuroHealthNet, Brussels.
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23. “Amplifying the participation of young people in Europe” – The Multilateral Cooperation Project “Participation of young people in the democratic Europe” in a nutshell

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