On the 26th June 2017, the European Union Programmes Agency with the support of Agenzija Zghazagh and Sport Malta held a day seminar entitled Democracy, youth and sport under the Transnational Cooperation Activities of the Erasmus+ Programme.
The Parliamentary Secretary for Youth, Sports and Voluntary Organisations, Dr Clifton Grima stated that such gatherings enable the sharing of good practices building on a productive cross-sectorial approach and that they also provide an invaluable opportunity for networking and fruitful contacts between countries. Dr Grima also stated that the main priority in the field of sports is that of utilizing sport as a platform for social inclusion through volunteering. Apart from this, he said that the Maltese Presidency also focused on the role of youth work in supporting young people’s development of essential life skills, facilitating their successful transition to adulthood, citizenship and working life, in order to draw up Council conclusions on this basis.
Mark Cutajar, CEO SportMalta, said that this event brought to an end six months of hard work where a new EU Work Plan for Sport 2017-2020 and a council conclusion on Sport as a platform for Social Inclusion through volunteering were adopted. Cutajar also remarked the number of Fora organised during the months where more than 700 delegates from all over Europe attended.
Miriam Theuma, CEO Agenżija Żgħażagħ, also stressed that this seminar ends this rewarding presidency journey on something practical. An event which brings policy and practice together and engage sport coaches, youth workers and policy makers to work together to enable young people gain a voice, influence the community, and bring about change both at local and European level.
The international seminar welcomed 32 participants from 19 European countries and considered how, through their active participation and engagement in sports, young people can experience the pressures, responsibilities and rewards of working and interacting with each other in group activities that have particular disciplines and aims and how these can help inform and prepare them for democratic and civic engagement in the wider society. A key feature of the seminar was the sharing of good practices whilst enhancing cooperation between the youth and sport sector.
The seminar focused on issues including; leadership, teamwork, planning, goal setting, and group thinking.