International Youth Exchange
“Sport Your Mind”
The project “Sport your Mind” attracted in Cyprus enthusiastic young people from nine European countries-Greece, Spain, Cyprus, Bulgaria, Belgium, Slovak republic, Romania, Hungary and Poland. For only eight days the participants managed to get to know each other, to cooperate in making different interactive games, tasks and simulations….and, of course, to have fun together. For a week, seven international teams, made 5-6 minutes long videos, digital magazines about healthy Lifestyle, and created a brand new sport. With different simulation games there were structured parts of our political and social life and all participants could take own decisions and take care about consequences. The food we choose every day is very important for our healthy lifestyle. That’s why all participants had to come up with healthy and nourishing menus. For several days the international teams worked on the creation of small businesses providing various conditions for sports, health treatments and healthy diets. Divided into international or national teams participants competed in tournaments in football and basketball. Funny beach games showed to young people how important teamwork and a well-chosen strategy for a successful finish are. For one day everyone became a treasure hunter in the historical side of beautiful and sunny town Limassol. The project “Sport your Mind” gave to the young people a full and fun waking up to the Mind and the Body!
Time? If you ask a young person to participate in an activity or volunteer for something chances are that you will get a reply that they do not have free time. We see that young people have less free time and the free time they have, they want to spend sleeping or just unwinding. We see how young people have so much stress either related to school work or to finding employment. Through all of these we find that young people find no time to participate in any sporting activities or exercises and this leads to a very unhealthy lifestyle. We see that young people are suffering from medical problems like diabetes and obesity at very young ages. This is also as a result of an unhealthy diet.
We have undertaken many projects focusing on youth, especially with sports and healthy lifestyles, looking at the various factors that influences our choices. This project examined the underlying problems or reasons for these problems from the perspective of young people. Is our educational system to intense? Are our options for healthy diets limited? Where is the missing link between information and knowledge regarding a healthy lifestyle? These are some of the questions we tried to answer during this project so that we can share the answers with young people all over Europe.
We need to address these problems very seriously and find solutions for these problems. We need to understand our youth and through understanding develop daily programs so that our youth can live healthier lives and have enough time to relax and also exercise their bodies and their minds.
During the project we examined why young people are not active in sports, are they lazy, is access to sport limited, or are we not educated on the subject enough to be motivated to participate? We also looked at diet choices and understand why we prefer processed foods instead of fresh healthy foods, are they cheaper, are they easier to find or don’t we know the differences?
The World Health Organization has published alarming results of young people suffering from severe illnesses as a result of unhealthy diets and the lack of physical activity in youth and this project addressed these important issues from the perspective of youth to discover the reasons behind them and also work on workable solutions on a European level.