In I W.O.N. project, an Italian sport Organization, a Lithuanian Sport University and the Sport Unit of a Portuguese Municipality works together to increase sport staff awareness on the importance of a balanced and adapted training programme that protects young athletes from long-last injuries.
If on one hand it is true that regular participation in sports generates physical, psychological and social benefits, on the other hand the engagement in physical activitiy also causes risk for injuries. About one in five injuries treated at emergency department in hospital is related to sport activities, for the EU-27 region, the number of sports related injuries treated in hospitals can be estimated at 5.2 million cases a year. (EuroSafe, Policy Briefing "Promoting Safety in Sport: how to put actions in place”).
Negative consequences of musculoskeletal injuries sustained during sports may compromise function in later life, limiting the ability to experience pain-free mobility and engage in fitness-enhancing activity
For this reason,specific aim of the projectis to protect young athletes from health and safety hazards by improving training conditions,increasing sport staff awareness on the importance of a balanced and adapted training programme athletes centred.
Starting from a method tested in the Laboratory of Posture (Postulab) ofPalestra Ginnastica Ferrara, that pays special attention to structural and functional integrity of athletes from 3 to 16 years old, a group of coaches, instructors, professors and sport managers from 3 different European countries shares their experience and exchange best practices on innovative training methods, athletes centred.
As a product of the exchange of best practices will be realized a guideline with recommendations for coaches, instructors and sport staff.
The practical approach is given by 5 days of training that will be organized in Italy for coaches, instructors and sport managers involved in the project and by the creation of a mobileapplication that is the final main tool.
From the app, free to download, coaches and instructors can select diverse preferences (age, pathologies/symptomatologies, area of the body, harmful posture, etc ) and filter a tailored workout, direct to each athlete’s characteristics and based on specific fitness goal of functional re-education.
The app provides detailed suggestions through a step-by-step description with a short presentation and explanatory photos/images that show how to properly execute each exercise.
Young athletes will get great benefit from the spread of the I W.O.N. project results, in terms of better performance and above all of a general long-lasting well-being.
A. S. D. Palestra Ginnastica Ferrara - Palagym (PGF) is an Italian non-for-profit Association founded in 1879 in Ferrara (northern Italy) with the aim of promoting “the culture and the study of gymnastics”.
Since the early years of activity, PGF athletes have participated in National and international competitions and in several Olympics obtaining excellent results and many successes. Currently, the artistic gymnastic team is in second level (A2) in the national championship and other athletes (rhythmic gymnastic, judo, sanda and wushu) are internationally appreciated.
In 2004, PGF moved to the new premises: the Palagym. This is a new sport center of about 2.500 mq counting 6 gyms and additional areas providing purpose designed indoor spaces, accessible also to people with a wide range of disabilities.
Currently, PGF has got more than 1.200 members and offers a wide number of group excercise classes addressed to children and adult, from 3 to 80 years old in various disciplines as general, rhythmic and artistic gymnastic, japanes and chinese art martials (aikido, judo, wushu, sanda, etc), pilates, yoga, sliding, functional training, tacfit, weightlifting, postural training. Personal trainers also provide customized fitness routine.
Besides, the Modern School of dance “Louise Anne Gard” is specialized in modern dance for children and teen-agers.
Finally, particularly active and significant is the experience of Postulab (Laboratory of posture) that with its highly qualified staff and cooperation with the other instructors’ disciplines has obtanied excellent results.
PGF collaborates withlocal public authorities, Universities, schools and private Associations and it has a good experience in the organization of training and local events (National competitions, Gym day, annual display with about 2.000 spectators, “Gran Galà del CONI” in cooperation with the Municipality of Ferrara), as well as of awareness campaing in the schools and in summer camps (“Olympic Gym Camps”).
Specific attention is dedicated to disabled persons; PGF organizes weekly classes in order to promote disable communication skills, socialization and consolidation of motor patterns.
PGF is member of the following sports Federations: Federazione ginnastica d’Italia, (F.G.I.), Federazione Italiana judo, lotta, karate, arti marziali (Fijlkam), Federazione italiana Wushu Kung fu (Fiwuk) and Federpesistica (FIPE), as well as of Comitato Olimpico Nazionale Italiano (CONI).
PFG is inspired by the ethic principles of sport, promoting in all its activities the “culture of sport” combining in a single approach the well-being and enjoyment with fair play as a way of thinking that includes respect for others, inclusion, equal opportunities, fight against any kind of violence.
PGF is the coordinator of the project I W.O.N, its role is to lead the project team, supervise project activities at local and international level and monitor progress and performance.
Lithuanian Sports University (LSU) was founded in 1934 in Kaunas, Lithuania.
It is a specialized public higher education Institution that has developed its unique traditions in sport and health sciences. It is the Lithuanian cradle of sports science and sports education.
During the last decade the University actively developed and introduced the real values of sport and health promotion to the general public and politicians as well as encouraged the common people for harmonious and physically active lifestyle.
LSU is an important centre of sports science, a fosterer of physical education and sports values and traditions as well as new initiatives of HEPA (Health Enhancing Physical Activity) in Lithuania.
Since its foundation the institution has trained over 14.000 teachers of physical education, sports coaches, physiotherapists, tourism and sport managers and other qualified specialists. Over the years many distinguished scholars, world-known coaches, prominent sports and public figures have graduated from the University. The University is the only Institution in Lithuania training coaches in different kinds of sports. At the moment 2.000 students are studying at the University and can choose one out of 4 Bachelor’s, 6 Master’s, including Physical Activity and Health and 1 PhD programmes at the Faculty of Sports Biomedicine and out of 4 Bachelor’s, 3 Master’s and 1 PhD programmes at the Faculty of Sports Education. LSU is a tertiary level University – it offers undergraduate, graduate and doctoral studies, and all study programmes are accredited by international experts.
The research projects are performed in different areas of social and biomedical sciences, such as muscle and movement control, rehabilitation, public health, physical activity and social empowerment of the disabled.
The strategic areas of research are: Coaching Science, Sports Physiology and Genetics; Skeletal Muscles, Motor Control and Rehabilitation; Health and Physical activity, Physical and Social Education in the Society Undergoing Changes; Leisure Management, Economics and Sociology; Physiological and Social Aspects of Empowerment of Disabled.
LSU maintains strong partnership with leading European Universities as the University of Southern Denmark, Groningen Hanze University, Foro Italico University of Rome and others and actively participates at various international Associations, Networks and is a member of different sports organizations. For many years LSU has been member of ENSE (European Network of Sport Education), ICSSPE (International Council of Sport Science and Physical Education), FIEP (Federation Internationale d’Education Physique), EAS, ECSS (European College of Sport Science), EAIE (European Association for International Education), INSHS (international Network of Sport and Health Science), ASPHER (Association of schools of Public Health in the European Region), AESIEP networks, and actively participates in the work of ENPHE (European Netwok of Physiotherapy in Higher Education) and the boards of Europe Active networks.
LSU is an initiator of Nordic-Baltic Coach training network and is actively strengthening it through Nordplus projects.
Over the last decade the LSU has participated in a number of international projects in the area of physical activity for children, including LLP/Erasmus intensive programmes, LLP/Erasmus Curriculum Development Programme.
One of the LSU five strategic research areas set for 2015-2017 is health enhancing physical activity and education through sport. The LSU academic staffs has extensive experience in the studies of educational, cognitive, social and physiological aspects related to physical activity for children and adolescence and the integration of this body of knowledge into educational programmes.
Mirandela is a Municipality in the Norte Region with a population of about 23.850 inhabitants (data 2011).
It is a dynamic Municipality that became a reference in sport in the northeast of Portugal.
The city is the home to the oldest sports club in the Region and the sports movement exists since the beginning of the XX century. Since 1996, Mirandela hosts annually National and International sport events like the European Jet Ski Championship, becoming also the Jet Ski Capital of Europe. The unique conditions of the river make this City one of the most highly regarded and prestigious places to compete at international level in this sport.
Since the late 80’s, Mirandela host also the annual International Kickboxing event, whose world Champions live and practice in the City, as well as other several athletes who had represented the National Teams in sports such as Football, Basketball, Table Tennis, Field Hockey, Athletics, Chess and Adapted Sports. Mirandela is a national reference in Table Tennis; local clubs boast individual champions and lots of collective championships.
The Municipality strategy is to promote a well-balanced performance, fitness and health of athletes and amateurs by increasing the quality, accessibility and management of facilities, doctors and coaches. Furthermore, it has encouraged the exchange of “know-how” and experience among sport staff thanks also to the participation to European Programmes.
Since 2009 the Mayor implemented an internal re-organization creating a specific Unit that manages sports locally. Currently, out of 300 employees, 16 work full time in the Sport Unit. The Sport Unit daily cooperates with 26 sport Organizations such as Olympic Committee, National Federations, Regional Associations and Local Clubs. There are 21 different sports and 865 official athletes members of National Federations. Because of the vast experience in hosting national and international sport events, one of the strengths of the Municipality are logistics and the ability to solve problems.
Thanks to the re-organization, the quality of services to support sport Organizations has improved, as well as has enhanced facilities and events management. Besides, also the sports offered in “sport for all” has increased and is now more diversified.
Every year, conferences and seminars are organized in order to share experience and best practice with local sport clubs specifically in: management, coaching and training, heath, fitness and injury prevention.
Finally, Mirandela is partner of European proejcts financed in the framework of Erasmus + Programme – sport. Thanks to this participation a good experience in dissemination of sport related projects has been developed, so it was natural that Mirandela as partner of I W.O.N. project had the role to coordinate the dissemination activities.