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European Youth and Sports Forum 2012. By Annemiek Pas December 20, 2012

Posted by usbngo in Older Posts.
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I have been participant of the EYSF 2012, and it was a very interesting experience. The forum took place in Larnaca, Cyprus, which is an interesting location in itself but later more about that. There were 86 participants from 28 countries of Europe. The event was organized by ISCA and ENGSO, two organizations active in the field of sports, youth and volunteerism. The idea of the forum was: to connect people active in these fields as well, and to develop a declaration which will be presented to the European Union with the goal to put sports, youth and volunteerism higher on the agenda.

The participants were given the chance to choose from different workshops: volunteering, health, and participation. These workshops were dealing with their respective relation to sport: volunteerism in sport activities; sport increasing the health of the population; and active citizenship through sports. During the workshops we learned about the connections, the possibilities, and opportunities these issues could have to stimulate and encourage youth to get more involved through sports. Furthermore, during the workshops we came to certain recommendations for the Declaration, as to change European policy.

In addition to the Declaration, all of the participants prepared their ‘best practice’: a description of a previous project relating sports and one of the three issues. A booklet will be made out of 22 chosen best practices. The idea is to share good ideas, which might be repeated in other countries or provide as an example for policy makers.

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Besides these workshops, best practices, and declarations, we have been doing many sports as well. And it was great, to be surrounded by that many people loving sports. The energy was all around, and everybody was enthusiastic to play whatever kind of sport. I have to mention that the weather conditions were perfect for this event; it was about 22 degrees, no strong wind, and no rain, just sunny all day. The hotel was located near the beach, which provided a great environment for morning sports on the beach, along the beach, and in the sea. So yes, Larnaca on the beach was beautiful, and a great experience. Part of the experience was a trip to Nicosia (Lefkosia/Lefkosa), the capital of Cyprus. It is the only capital in Europa that is divided, with a Turkish and a Greek part separated by the ‘green line’. Even though the group went to the Turkish side, I had forgotten my passport so I was not allowed to enter. Together with a Turkish Cypriot, who only had his Greek ID with him and not his Turkish ID, we stayed at the other side of the line walking and talking around, while wondering how a person cannot enter his own country… And drinking coffee, we heard the imam calling for prayer, for me a symbol showing that neither a border nor a line with any kind of color can truly separate.

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