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  • CHANGE partners finalise map of key job roles in sport for development
    The partners of the EU-funded CHANGE project are a step closer to providing a comprehensive overview of occupations, job roles, skills and professional development pathways for people working in sport for development. The partners, including ISCA, met online for the 4th full partner meeting on 8 September. Following an extensive research phase, the aim of the meeting was to discuss and agree on the first two major outputs of the project: an Occupational Map and Occupational Descriptors for sport for development. Occupational MapThe CHANGE Occupational Map defines sport for development as an occupational sector within sport and physical activity, and clarifies the unique characteristics of the sector. The Occupational Map was informed by desk research and interviews with sport for development professionals. The Occupational Map defines sport for development around the terms “sport as a hook” and “sport as a tool”, and the intentional use of sport to have a positive impact on individuals and communities. It goes on to discuss economic and social value of the sector, types of organisation, occupations, key competences, training and progression. Finally, the Occupational Map discusses trends and future projections in sport for development and challenges for the sector, including recruitment and retention, education pathways, coordination and promotion of the sector, collaboration with other sectors, advocacy for sport for development, funding models, and more engagement with universities. A section on the impact and challenges linked to the Covid-19 pandemic will also be added an pre-released prior to the full package of outputs, which are planned to be released later in 2021. Occupational DescriptorsThe Occupational Descriptors for sport for development identify key tasks, responsibilities, skills and attributes as well as knowledge, qualifications and types of contracts. It has been built around the roles of sport for development coordinator and activator. ISCA is co-leading the development of this intellectual output in collaboration with EOSE. In the meeting the partners approved the content of the Occupational Map and Descriptors and proceeded to the development of the Functional Map for sport for development, which will provide a complete breakdown of functions and work activities related to the roles of sport for development coordinators and activators. The next phase will be to develop detailed occupational standards before the production of educational products in 2021 to support training and development in the sector. The partners will meet again online in December 2020.Visit the CHANGE website for more information or get in touch with project manager Ben GITTUS, EOSE Director of Standards: [email protected] CHANGE Project partners: European Observatoire of Sport and Employment (EOSE); International Sport and Culture Association (ISCA); University of Cassino and Southern Lazio; Leeds Beckett University; General Secretariat for Sports; Greece, Italian Sport for All Association (USIP); Sport Union of Slovenia; StreetGames; Women Win.
    CHANGE partners finalise map of key job roles in sport for development
  • European Fitness Badge expansion to different countries continues with Europe-China partnership
    The European Fitness Badge (EFB) MOVE Transfer Europe-China webinar was held online with approximately 30 people from Europe, China, Hong Kong and Macau joining in remotely on 4 September. The aim was to equip the participants with the guidance and resources they need to conduct their own European Fitness Badge tests. The MOVE Transfer Europe-China project started in 2019 and has so far served as a bridge between partners in Europe and institutions in China, Hong Kong and Macau. As lockdowns forced the project’s partners to continue their collaborations online this year, 21 online meetings on different topics have been held since February. The EFB webinar was a result of the regular meetings of the MOVE Transfer Europe-China project’s working group dedicated to physical activity for seniors, the Active Ageing Group, with the aim of making their partnerships sustainable and expanding the scale of the project. The webinar’s leader, German Gymnastics Federation (DTB) shared the objective, the history and the implementation of the EFB. In addition, 2 presenters (Sports Union of Slovenia and SOKOL from Czech Republic) shared good examples of EFB tests conducted in Slovenia and the Czech Republic. What is the European Fitness Badge (EFB)?In the first part of the webinar, general information on the EFB tests, the different EFB fitness levels, follow-up counselling and implementation of EFB in different settings were presented. Funded by the Erasmus+ Programme and started in 2015 with 7 partners in an international consortium, the EFB is an individual assessment of a person’s fitness level composed by 3 levels (basic, advanced, and approved). It is an effective instrument that motivates and supports people in attaining a healthier and more active lifestyle. Maria-Lourdes Gonzales from German Gymnastics Federation explained the differences between the test levels, the principles and the steps of counselling. She indicated that the counselling part was one of the most critical aspects of the test. The main goals and principles of counselling are also listed as a brief and clear consultancy, focusing on the interests and strengths of the person, using open questions, not giving orders but providing support, encouragement and good recommendations. What are the steps of a good implementation of EFB?The EFB can be executed in different settings as big events, small events, events in a fitness club and events in a workplace. However, requirements for events in different categories may also be different. For example, organising an EFB event in a sports club requires the participant and the trainer to know the test items and their abilities very well. Therefore, the EFB implementation can also be organised as “open doors” days for citizens and curious people who would like to try new activities. All educational and promotional materials are provided through the website of the EFB. In the second part of the webinar, German Gymnastics Federation introduced the Online Data Platform which is a tool for the computer-based evaluation of the EFB. After the introductions, the participants had the chance to create a sample profile online and experience their fitness level in the test area of the platform.
    European Fitness Badge expansion to different countries continues with Europe-China partnership
  • Mental health a timely focus topic for European School Sport Day 2020
    “I can’t think of anything more timely to be the focus topic of ESSD 2020,” Youth Sport Trust International’s Managing Director Helen Vost said about the choice to put mental health at the forefront of the European School Sport Day’s (ESSD) 2020 campaign at ISCA and the Hungarian School Sport Federation’s (HSSF) latest webinar for ESSD National Coordinators. The decision to make mental health the focus topic of ESSD 2020 had already been prompted by growing evidence of mental health struggles among school children well before 2020 unfolded. As schools re-start across the world after Covid-19 lockdowns, health professionals and schools are drawing even more attention to the potential impact of isolation, uncertainty and loss on children’s mental health. So how can physical activity help children’s transition back to school and their social interaction at school? We opened the discussion together with Helen Vost, Youth Sport Trust Head of Research Amanda Vernalls and Hungarian child psychologist Csilla Kaposvari in the third of our series of online professional development seminars for ESSD coordinators. More than 1000 schools are now registered for this year’s European School Sport Day and there are less than three weeks to go until the 6th edition kicks off around Europe on 25 September. “Mental health is about how we think, feel and behave, and mental health really matters in childhood,” Csilla said in the webinar, pointing to the statistic in the Mental Health Toolkit she developed with ISCA for ESSD 2020 that half of mental health problems develop before the age of 14. Even before the onset of the pandemic, depression and anxiety disorders are among the top 5 causes of overall disease burden among children and adolescents, she noted. Signs of deteriorating mental health among children are being revealed in research coming out of the UK, with Sport England and Youth Sport Trust gathering children’s, teachers’ and partners’ thoughts in surveys conducted throughout lockdown.
    Mental health a timely focus topic for European School Sport Day 2020
  • Celebrating physical literacy on International Literacy Day
    Today is International Literacy Day and at ISCA we’re celebrating what we’ve learned so far about the most hotly debated type of literacy around the world right now – physical literacy – in our new Physical Literacy for Life project.What is physical literacy and why has the concept sparked an explosion of research and discussion over the past 10 years? The answer to the first question is soon to be revealed by our EU-supported project partners, including researchers, education, health and physical activity experts from Australia and Europe. After intensive deliberation and a wide mapping of literature on the topic, they are ready to put forward a new definition of physical literacy that they hope will capture the holistic nature of the concept and be easily translatable into different languages. The answer to the second question is that the concept of physical literacy is relatively new and the first definition was put forward as recently as 2010 by “the mother of physical literacy” Margaret Whitehead. Thoughts about what physical literacy encompasses have evolved rapidly from the idea of acquiring physical competences to a broader acquisition of cognitive and movement skills that can help us enjoy better health, wellbeing and quality of life, as well as a lifelong engagement in physical activity. Physical Literacy for Life project partner and international expert Dean Dudley, from Macquarie University in Australia, poses a couple more questions for further thought: “But why would I care about physical literacy? Why shouldn’t I just be active?” Because physical literacy is a lifelong learning skill that can be compared to literacy and numeracy, but should be imagined as something more than physical education (PE), he explains. “When we talk about literacy we talk about it crossing all aspects about life, not just in the language arts. When we talk about numeracy we talk about all aspects of mathematical learning, not necessarily what we learned in mathematics. And that is why physical literacy is very different from physical education,” he says. “Literacy does not stop when we finish school. Just because we stop studying English, French, or mathematics when we leave high school, does that mean we stop learning to be literate or numerate? No, the context changes and when that context changes it’s still a learning phenomenon. So we might be learning in our workplace. [For example], if I learn to walk or cycle to work, or to play in a social group in the workplace, that is physical literacy but not PE.” The Physical Literacy for Life project partners are currently working on several intellectual outputs as part of the Erasmus+ Collaborative Partnership project – the first of which, the new definition of physical literacy and supporting materials, will be published this month. The second, as series of questionnaires to find out how different target groups, including teachers, sports organisers and individuals, understand physical literacy, will be distributed before an online international seminar in October and an advocacy toolbox is also on its way in early 2021. Sign up to the ISCA newsletter for updates and visit the website (under construction) for more information on the project.By Rachel Payne, ISCA
    Celebrating physical literacy on International Literacy Day
  • “We see sport and leisure as a deep integration tool for refugees in Denmark”: New podcast
    Five years ago, Danish authorities had to respond quickly to a refugee crisis that saw families and individuals walking along its highways to seek asylum in Denmark or continue their journey even further into Sweden. The situation has since eased and borders have been tightened. But while this took the immediate pressure off services and municipalities, it also took refugee integration off the table as a social priority. The Danish Red Cross and sports club umbrella DGI are now working together to put the value of sports and social clubs back on the table as “deep integration” tools. We speak to them in our exclusive MOVE Beyond podcast. As the Head of Inclusion at DGI North Zealand in Denmark – and a football coach for refugees and asylum seekers – Peter Bennett has witnessed a clear shift in national and local approaches to refugee inclusion in the past five years. “The refugee agenda has been pushed aside and Denmark has a very strict refugee policy now,” he says. “So we’ve seen the situation from five-six years ago when they were walking on the highways until now, when nearly no refugees get into the country.” To help clubs provide welcoming leisure activities for refugees who are still residing in the country, Peter and his team at DGI are working with the Danish Red Cross on a pilot initiative in Rudersdal municipality, north of Copenhagen, as part of ISCA’s EU-supported MOVE Beyond project. They aim to bring key actors from the community together – sports and social clubs, humanitarian workers, municipal staff and volunteers – to pool their ideas and resources and match clubs with refugees according to their interests. As Alexander van Deurs, from the Danish Red Cross explains, “the focus of Red Cross staff and volunteers these years is to achieve more deep integration: getting refugees into jobs, education or their families reunified. In the process of getting into the local community, this is an important stage. Sports clubs and sports activities could be one of those elements of getting someone deep into the society they’re living in now.” Peter notes that being included in a sports club not only helps refugees make social connections and learn Danish, it also offers a less intimidating introduction to life in a new community. “Sports clubs are also part of civic society; they’re not part of the system,” he says. “Refugees are used to meeting Danish people from inside the system – they’re all people who are evaluating them and telling them what to do and what not to do. In civic society we’re seeing them as people first and foremost and not as refugees. That makes a big difference, actually, for people to get out into places and be seen as the persons they are.”
    “We see sport and leisure as a deep integration tool for refugees in Denmark”: New podcast
CHANGE partners finalise map of key job roles in sport for development
The partners of the EU-funded CHANGE project are a step closer to providing a comprehensive overview of occupations, job roles, skills and professional development pathways for people working in sport for development. The partners, including ISCA, met online for the 4th full partner meeting on 8 September. Following an extensive research phase, the aim of the meeting was to discuss and agree on the first two major outputs of the project: an Occupational Map and Occupational Descriptors for sport for development. Occupational MapThe CHANGE Occupational Map defines sport for development as an occupational sector within sport and physical activity, and clarifies the unique characteristics of the sector. The Occupational Map was informed by desk research and interviews with sport for development professionals. The Occupational Map defines sport for development around the terms “sport as a hook” and “sport as a tool”, and the intentional use of sport to have a positive impact on individuals and communities. It goes on to discuss economic and social value of the sector, types of organisation, occupations, key competences, training and progression. Finally, the Occupational Map discusses trends and future projections in sport for development and challenges for the sector, including recruitment and retention, education pathways, coordination and promotion of the sector, collaboration with other sectors, advocacy for sport for development, funding models, and more engagement with universities. A section on the impact and challenges linked to the Covid-19 pandemic will also be added an pre-released prior to the full package of outputs, which are planned to be released later in 2021. Occupational DescriptorsThe Occupational Descriptors for sport for development identify key tasks, responsibilities, skills and attributes as well as knowledge, qualifications and types of contracts. It has been built around the roles of sport for development coordinator and activator. ISCA is co-leading the development of this intellectual output in collaboration with EOSE. In the meeting the partners approved the content of the Occupational Map and Descriptors and proceeded to the development of the Functional Map for sport for development, which will provide a complete breakdown of functions and work activities related to the roles of sport for development coordinators and activators. The next phase will be to develop detailed occupational standards before the production of educational products in 2021 to support training and development in the sector. The partners will meet again online in December 2020.Visit the CHANGE website for more information or get in touch with project manager Ben GITTUS, EOSE Director of Standards: [email protected] CHANGE Project partners: European Observatoire of Sport and Employment (EOSE); International Sport and Culture Association (ISCA); University of Cassino and Southern Lazio; Leeds Beckett University; General Secretariat for Sports; Greece, Italian Sport for All Association (USIP); Sport Union of Slovenia; StreetGames; Women Win.

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New ISCA website coming soon! Our mascot is working very hard on a brand new ISCA website and we look forward to revealing it to you in 2020. Meanwhile, we will still keep you updated here with the latest news from ISCA and our partners.

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The MOVE Week Gym is a new addition to the MOVE Week programme. From 25-31 May we will stream live workout videos presented by our members, MOVE Agents and partners.

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