The European Week of Sport takes place on the initiative of the European Commission to promote sport and physical activity in Europe. This year, it was organised for the fourth time in a row, and the main goal was to make the widest circle of residents aware of the importance of physical activity. In Slovenia, the Olympic Committee of Slovenia (Association of Sports Federations), which was entrusted with the role of national coordinator, plays a major role in this. The project is co-financed by the European Commission or the Erasmus+ program as a partner in an Erasmus+ project Ariadne’s Thread for youth deviance, we took part in participation in EWOS.
That we Slovenians are a very sporty nation is confirmed not only by the excellent results of our top athletes but also by the behaviour of people in everyday life. School playgrounds full of children, packed sports halls, and fitness centres, and crowds in mountain and hill huts. Regular physical activity is extremely important for health, which, together with mental health, forms the whole that we call a healthy lifestyle. This is no stranger to Slovenians, which our country recognized and declared September 23 as the day of Slovenian sports, on the initiative of OKS – ZŠZ.
In Slovenia, municipalities and local sports associations have decided to organise various activities or activities on topics presented by the Olympic Committee of Slovenia. The main theme of the Municipality of Nova Gorica in 2022 was spending time actively with para-athletes. As part of this project, we wanted to introduce the game of sitting volleyball to schoolchildren. The main activity took place in cooperation with the Kanal Elementary School, in the Kanal sports hall near the famous river Soča. We introduced the children at primary school to the basics of sitting volleyball, and members of the Slovenian Paralympic team provided the children with interesting information and talked to them about overcoming physical and mental obstacles.
In the Balon sports hall in Nova Gorica, we introduced volleyball as a sport to older citizens. They later took on the 4-on-4 game themselves with adapted rules. Even though both children and seniors who are not part of the 14-18 age group in Ariadne’s project, participated in this project, the organisation of this event was extremely important. In addition to the sport itself, in this case, volleyball, there was also a lot of talk about various life topics. We talked about life’s obstacles, and limitations, and how to face or overcome them.
Ariadne’s project is all about inclusion in sports and the prevention of marginality. We decided to go one step “out of the project box” and represent volleyball as a sport and tool to kids and the elderly as well.