During the summer 2019 there were several activities carried out within the project ICY - everyday practical activities in kayak and canoe, and two summer camps in June / July and in July / August. During the sports camps the young athletes were practicing three times a day just as in the previous year. Morning exercises were held at 7:30 outside the water. The first practices on the water were usually held at 11:00 (before the sun became too hot during the hottest hours - 12:00 - 16:00), and the second practices were held at 17:00 (after the hot sun). One of the aims of the project was to attain more children to enter the Regional Sports School of Limbazi and Salacgriva after the summer activities.
So, 51 new athlete of the project target group age entered the sports school on the new school year 2019/2020. It makes around 12% of the total of kayak and canoe athletes of the sports school. This figure makes the project successful also by the fact that not all of the 51 athletes were the project children (project children are 39), but the project children took their friends to enter the sports school as well. As the target group of the project were children from rural regions, but children from the centre of the region also entered the sports school, the total number of the children having entered the department of canoe / kayak of the sports school on the 2019/2020 were 67.
Previously on the school year 2018/2019 there were 37 new athletes who entered the sports school after the summer activities and only two of them were not project members, but they were from rural regions. The total number of the children having entered the department of canoe / kayak of the sports school on the 2018/2019 were 59.
The greatest event of the project was the final conference with involvement of speakers of all participating countries. The conference dealt with issues that made an impact on policy in the field of sports. The conference was opened by the Minister of Education and Science Ministry Ilga Šuplinksa. The conference consisted of two panel discussions and the lecturer's part. It started with the speaches of sports functioniers - Edgars Severs Sports Department Director of the Ministry of Education and Science, Zorzs Tikmers the Secretary General of NOC, Priit Ilver the Hedmaster of Audentes Sports Gymnasium, Romualdas Petrukanecas the Secretary General of Lithuanian Canoe Federation, and the conference continued with the first panel discussion "Sport infrastructure in municipalities – solutions, benefits, challenges" speakers were sports functionaries of each participant country: Mayor of Jelgava Municipality Council Andris Rāviņš, Mayor of Valmiera Municipality Council Jānis Baiks, Vice – mayor of Strategic Planning Issues of Liepaja Municipality Council in Uldis Sesks. The second panel discussion was "Funding — Sports Fund, Culture Capital Fund, contribution to sectoral developmen". The speakers were Adviser of Sport Department of the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Estonia Margus Klaan, President of Canoe Federation of Lithuania Aleksandras Alekrinskis, Director of Culture Capital Foundation of Latvia Edgars Vērpe. Both panel discussions directly concerned the policy of sports not only in Latvia, but also Estonia and Lithuania. The third part of the conference dealt with the “Health of Children and Youth. Sports Development and Problems in the Baltic Countries”. The lecturers of the third part were: Msc in Sport Sciences, Audentes Sports Gymnasium Kristel Kiens "Health of Children and Youth and the Holistic Development of Dual Career Athletes", Chairperson of the Board Nords Event Communications Ltd. Aigars Nords "Gold Label Marathon of Riga – pride and opportunity in the Aspect of Children and Youth", Fitness trainer, physiotherapist Ēriks Visockis "Early specialisation in sport – benefits or misery", TV moderator, sports journalist Renārs Zeltiņš "Sport – Your Opportunity!" The conference was live broadcasted on sports TV of Latvia in the original language and in Facebook with a translation. Several issues were decided to be discussed further after the conference: early specialisation of children in such sports as football and hockey, funds for swimmping pool infrastructure in Latvia, sports funds in each Baltic State.
Seminar with experienced professionals from Denmark was held in Audentese Sports Gymnasium focusing on building effective relationships and communication. Louise Kamuk Strom, experienced researcher and a practitioner in coaches development programs, shared knowledge about the importance of effective communication and coach-athlete relationships. One of the focus points of her presentation was on coaches impactful role in supporting their athletes growth as athletes and people via building effective relationships. Coaches learned about increasing their self-awareness in communication and new practical ways to build supportive relationships with their athletes.
Carsten Hvid Larsen, an experienced sport psychologist in Team Denmark, introduced one of the main building blocks of an effective coach-athlete relationship-a sound and well thought-through coaching philosophy. During the presentation, the participants got a thorough insight into the importance of coaching philosophy in their everyday practice. They learned practical steps on how to develop their own philosophy and show that in their everyday communication and behaviors with their athletes. Additionally, the coaches learned practical skills on managing their own stress levels that is necessary for communicating their professional values.
Although the seminar was held in English, the participants gave good feedback during the break about the presenters and the content. One of the participants expressed thanks for the opportunity to learn something new again and complimented on the easily understandable language. The participants were actively asking questions and eager to recieve practical tips for their everyday work.
Therefore, we were really thankful to our guests for creating this opportunity for our coaches to obtain new knowledge that could be useful in their everyday work.
Please find the seminar description in Estonian HERE