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INTERVIEW with Ismet Kapetanovic

PATHE leader from Collaborating Partner Let's Be Active

Name: Ismet Kapetanović
Position: Executive director
NGO ''Let's Be Active'' – 71000 Sarajevo, H. Kapidzica 1.
Country: Bosnia and Herzegovina

1. Within your specific national project and geographic location (country), what are the most important issues for the PATHE - Physical Activity Towards a Healthier Europe to address in order to better the health status, health promotion and sport/health activities?

The whole system of sports in Bosnia and Herzegovina is not unique primarily because of the political situation and political divisions, and still after 13 years of the war. Political arrangement is a very poorly regulated, so that we have two entities (the Federation of BiH and Republika Srpska)... Within the Federation we have ten Counties and each is represented as a small country. The system of sport unification is not implemented, except in some sports under the pressure of the international federation UEFA, FIFA, FIBA, IHF ... (Football, basketball, handball ...) There is no unique law, a unique law of sport, financial situation for sport is not resolved. Cooperation between professional experts in the field of sports, health, education is poor and under the influence of politics. There is a little cooperation in various fields of sport. The situation in the sport for all, SFA is without organization and it is particularly weak. There is no systematic approach. Positive developments may occur within the SFA especially private initiatives and in the major cities in the field of: fitness, aerobics, yoga, appropriate racing or walking, etc. Even that these developments are good initiatives but insufficiently supported as system activities. Initiatives that are driven by the SFA  organization can not get political or financial support and their work is blocked and obstructed. The situation is very bad in the small underdeveloped areas

In the field of sport for all SFA, it is necessary to have a unique coordination at the state level (which is accepted by all professional and political authorities). Therefore, it is necessary to ensure significant resources and the time of 2-3 years which is needed to ensure basic things and to include formal structures at the state level of BiH and the entities. It is necessary to establish one SFA independent but professional office with 2-3 employees and with provided means to act in the period from 2-3 years minimum.

2. What partnerships/activities do you feel are necessary within your national project/country that would help further the efforts of ISCA and your Association with PATHE in providing increased and more comprehensive services for national organizations in the Health/health promotion activities?

The total effort for changes in Bosnia and Herzegovina should not go with short-term projects of 3-6 months, except if there is a need for the promotional activities. It would be important to establish and coordinate long-term project of at least 3-5 years in a result to build up the formal  SFA system in Bosnia and Herzegovina. There will be requirements for:  
  • Basic agreement and harmonization of approaches between the SFA  Federation BiH and Republic Srpska in the field of construction and development of a unified system of SFA in BiH,
  • Formation of a joint office of SFA for BiH and Entities may establish two regional offices for the Republic Srpska and the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina
  • Passing medium term plan for 3-5 years
  • Supporting funds for the operation of 2-3 persons
  • Recording of all existing capacities and activities SFA in BiH
  • Activation mailing list and addresses of SFA
  • Activation of Web site of SFA Bosnia and Herzegovina with updates, news, professional information and links with the International contacts
  • Preparation and production of the newsletter which would be printed every 3 months.
  • Promotion and public affirmation of SFA through public events
  • Applications to SFA funds EU - IPA funds through the EU cooperation with ISCA, DGI, and other EU associations.
  • Finding partners inside the EU which would be through a common approach to apply for EU funds ( USEP, UISP, DGI ... )

In a matter of PATH activities and our cooperation with the USEP we are very grateful for all what the USEP and ISCA provided, advices and meetings. We are satisfied with the USEP and didactic materials which are good quality but unfortunately all in French. Intensive trying to ensure the funds / money, which would allow translation of the material because then the priorities could have significant access and activities on the implementation of the USEP methodology system education for children from 3-5 years, 6-8 years and 9-11. year. Because of inability to modulate material to our language, we are not enough prepared to deal with the more complex agreements enrollment to the responsible persons from education, health system, sport, SFA...

3. What are the adaptations/innovations/changes in your association via PATHE   that you have either implemented or developed that has helped provide a more effective or efficient health/health promotion/physical activities?  

The most important thing is that we have met with the whole PATH project and the specific approaches in countries with different level of economic or other development. Our determination for USEP's methodology proved to be as correct as it is methodology that is already applied in over 13,000 schools. The approach is very professional and well prepared and adapted for the age group that has or may have the greatest influence ( on the children from 3-5 years, 5-8 and 8-11 years ... also on the family, teachers, welfare worker. For us, the difficulty now is that we have not received any financial support from the ministries or institutions, with whom we have contacted, and which is necessary for us to be involved in presentation and promotion of this project.

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