WOW Europe Open Hour in Sport 25.09.2021.

The “Open Hour in Sport” was a real challenge for Latvia. First, due to the pandemic that still goes on and a week prior to the activity of “Open Hour in Sport” a teacher of the local Secondary School, where one part of the activity was scheduled, got sick with Covid-19 and one third of the school was isolated. This included also lower grades that were chosen for a mental sport lesson in order to reach a higher aim and a greater value added of this activity, which was to attain children of grades 1 – 4 to enter the local sport school and continue doing physical activity and sport after this one marvelous day. In this regard, the project team invited the sport school’s representative to say a welcoming speech to the young children and invite them to join Limbaži Region Sport School, which by the way, is free of charge in any of the seven sports available in the sport school. After the welcoming speech, the sport school’s director handed booklets for the teachers of the children of grades 1 – 4 to be later handed to the children themselves so that they can decide together with their parents for any future choices.

Inspired by an Olympian

After the sport school’s director, the floor was given to an Olympian who ranked 7 in the Beijing Olympic Games in sprint canoe – Kristaps Zaļupe and a sports teacher Kalvis Rudzītis. The specific task of the Olympian was to inspire the children by his personal story of his Olympic road. Meanwhile the sports teacher, who is also a lifeguard of the beach shared stories of the necessity to be physically developed to be able to save not only themselves but also help other people in case of a necessity. Both men involved the children in their stories as sample models.

Magic of Sports

Yet, the “star” of the event was a magician invited to keep inspiring the children for continue doing physical activity through a specific story combined with magic tricks that children love so much. Toms Felkers – the magician, was also promoting the team spirit in the children as much as it was allowed according to the school’s rules because of the pandemic situation. Even though Toms was strictly limited in his actions, he did the best to involve all children – grades 1 – 4 were allowed to step down in the sport hall, the rest was allowed to stay in sport hall’s stands only.

Sports in Nature

Another activity with the “Open Hour in Sport” a running event “Around Lielezers” for all ages, for all levels and for different length distances – 600m (60% asphalt, 40% forest trail), 1200m (40% asphalt, 60% forest trail), 6km (70% asphalt, 30% forest trail) and 14,3 km (40% asphalt, 40% dirt road, 20% forest trail and wooden plank-way). Running as such is popular in Limbaži Region. Therefore not only individuals participated, but families involved running together in the pace of the slowest family member – not striving for winning but having fun out of being together and spending time in fresh air.

And the last but not the least – all those who were willing to do a physical activity in a joyful atmosphere and without a result, were invited to have a walk or run of 1000m along the bank of the lake Lielezers with 9 obstacles – exercises possible to do on the spot at each of the obstacle point. This activity was mostly esteemed by elderly people, young mothers with small children either in still in strollers or just making their first steps.

All in all the activity “Open Hour in Sport” gathered more than two hundred participants, 115 of which were students of grades 1 – 4 – our main target audience because of the long-lasting impact that the project team was hoping to initiate in the children by joining the local sports school.

The event is memorized in a video HERE.