From 5th till 13th of May ELIX organized the youth exchange "Sports to YOUth" in Ancient Olympia, birthplace of the Olympic Games. The project was financed by the "ERASMUS+" European Programme, with the support of the "Institute of Youth and Lifelong Learning".
Our intercultural group was consisted of 30 young participants from Italy, Spain, Turkey, Estonia and of course Greece.
Through the organized activities, the main aim of this project was to encourage young people to participate in different activities and at the same time to promote the principles of sportsmanship, cooperation and fair play. Sport may help someone not only to improve his/her physical state but also it is an effective way for people to improve their social skills.
During this Youth Exchange, our young participants had the opportunity to get know each other, exchange points of view and knowledge on different issues but also to develop their ideas, making the whole experience of these eight days unique.
In the evenings, the participants had the chance to create an interesting multicultural climate. They prepared presentation of their country, their culture and different traditions.
ELIX, as an active member in the network of ALLIANCE of European Voluntary Service Organisations, took part in the common action Cook4Climate Day. A sustainable dinner was organized under the light of the candles. This action aims to send a message to the Conference of parties (CoP21) that is going to take place at the end of this year in Paris. During CoP21 the states are going to decide for the future of the Climate Change and for the reduction of its consequences.
The first two days of the project were focused on acquaintance and the conversion of the group into a team. The activities were held either in a small team or by individual members to make the group of the participants get to know each other. That had succeeded by a wide variety of name games and ice breaking games, which everyone enjoyed.
The third day, during the activities participants could learn, realize, and discuss about issues and topics such as cooperation, leadership, and social inclusion of the people with disabilities. During the afternoon, they had the chance to present some sport activities and games that they play in their countries. Everyone had the opportunity to perform these games, enriching the value of the peer-to-peer learning.
On the 4th day, Mini youth - Olympics games were held with the aim to realize about the terms of sportsmanship and cooperation. In the continuity, they were able to discuss and get some theoretical input in order to realize the consequences of the blind competition and fanaticism.
During the visit of the town the next day, participants enjoyed their walk in the streets of Ancient Olympia and had a lot of fun with a treasure-hunt game, discovering interesting facts about the history of the Olympics Games and the Ancient Olympia.
On the 5th day, participants had the chance to visit the Archeological Site and the museum, where they learned more about the history of the Olympic Games. Also they had a small race competition in the Ancient Stadium.
During the afternoon of the same day, they hiked on Galani's hill and enjoyed the nature and the view of the area from the top. Meanwhile, they got informed about the fires of 2007 and the actions of ELIX and their local partner, with which the hill's nature was restored.
On the 6th day, the participants not only created and designed their own ideas for new sports or games, but also they played them all together.
In the morning of 7th day, the young people got equipped with different gardening tools and helped in a small voluntary action that was organized in the Olympic Botanical Garden. There, they contributed in the conservation of the garden, in order to keep accessible and allow the visitors to enjoy their walk.
During the afternoon they discussed issues and problems related to athletics and what actions they could undertake in order to resolve those issues.
On the last day, the 8th day, some activities were been organized for the closure of the project and the evaluation of their experience.