Last week, from 9-15 May 2022, young people from Europe and Japan travelled to Dakar, Senegal, to meet, debate and exchange knowledge on sport for sustainable development with their peers.
The exchange, led by ENGSO Youth, took place within the framework of the Erasmus+ Sport funded project Sport for Sustainable Development (Sport4SD).
The National Olympic Committee of Senegal was the host of the first international activity of the Sport4SD project. Youth exchange gathered youth leaders, trainers, coaches and NGO staff from three continents (Europe, Asia and Africa) and led them through a number of interrelated educational activities in order to develop their skills on how sport can be used as a tool for achieving sustainable development goals (SDGs).
The exchange began with getting to know each other and team building sessions which included traditional Japanese games and various sports. The participants were introduced to SDGs and asked to present their expectations. Day one concluded with a cultural exchange by getting to know the Senegales customs and traditions, from riding camels to dances and sport activities.
The Olympic Games in Tokyo and Paris and their sustainability strategies were the main discussion point of day two. ENGSO Youth participants presented the Score All 17 manual and the role of sport in contributing to the SDG agenda 2030. Participants finished day two in Accrobaobab adventure park.
Day three of our Erasmus+ funded Sport4SD project’s Youth Exchange included workshops on sport policies, sustainability guidelines and case studies on good practices from different sport organisations. The activities continued with a youth leadership and empowerment session led by our chair Ugne Chmeliauskaitė who presented the role of youth in sustainable development. The afternoon field visit to Generation Foot Academy gave the participants an opportunity to learn from a good practice on creating sustainable communities via sports. Day three concluded with a Japanese cultural night, led by our partner Kokushikan University.
The “European train”, breakfast, traditional dances and language challenge kicked off day four. The participants shared their experiences and inspiring stories on SDGs from their local communities. Later on the National Olympic Committee of Senegal introduced their ongoing preparations and sustainability strategy for the Youth Olympic Games, which will be held in Dakar, Senegal in 2026. We ended the day with a visit to the SOS Village and played football with local children.
Last day of the ENGSO Youth led Sport4SD programme started with a morning yoga session and continued with the follow-up activities preparations. The follow-up activities will be organised in Europe, Japan and Senegal. Participants had an opportunity to share reflections and evaluation of the week and the activities they promised to implement in their communities back home.
We would like to thank all the participants for their contributions, and project leaders Ivana and Christian for their work. Special appreciation goes to our hosts, the National Olympic Committee of Senegal, and our partners Hungarian University of Physical Education, Sport and Citizenship and Kokushikan University of Japan.
Sport4SD project is a collaboration between 5 partners from 3 continents: Europe, Africa and Asia: ENGSO Youth as the coordinator, Hungarian University of Physical Education, Sport and Citizenship, National Olympic Committee of Senegal and Kokushikan University of Japan.