On the 25th March LSIIDP held a local meeting among its members. There were two main aims for this meeting:
to find out if any of LSIIDP members have inner documents balancing genders to have no stereotypes in sport, and
to share knowledge and experience among LSIIDP members to identify any other documents among EU Member States in relation to gender stereotypes in sport.
The meeting was fruitful, and the whole LSIIDP team managed to bring together several materials worth working on further in order to present them to the SWOST coordinator and the WP2 leader prior discussing them between the Latvian SWOST team.
Despite these tough times LSIIDP managed to implement the third activity of the WoW Europe project on the 3rd March, 2021. This activity was a very special due to the value added for thanks to the WoW Europe project and through its activities LSIIDP helped to save a basketball team that had fallen apart within the past year of the pandemic. The basketball team of boys (13-14 years old) was ranked number 1 for the first time of their team a year ago before the pandemic started. The National Youth Championship of Basketball stayed unfinished, but with a hope to restart the basketball engine in autumn. It started, and the boys were ready to compete at the same high level. Yet, it went on for one month only, until the schools were closed again. Luckily, the practices outside, unlike spring, were allowed, and the coaches kept working with their teams under any weather circumstances - be them rainy, snowy or cold up to 10-15 degrees below Celsius. Yet, the weather conditions were tough this winter and many boys stopped attending the practices. Out of the whole basketball team, consisting of 16 boys, only 2-3 kept practicing on a regular basis. And from professionally oriented athletes they turned into children of a sedentary lifestyle not practicing even HEPA. The main reasons of this drop-out from sport were the following: 1) lack of basketball training that was not possible to be practiced outdoors, 2) lost motivation, and even 3) a depression approved by parents of several boys.
Through the project WoW Europe, LSIIDP decided to refer to the call for help of coaches and try to re-unite once so successful basketball team. By involving two famous athletes of Latvia - the previous athlete Kristaps Zaļupe and another Master of Sports and a national level athlete Rihards Parandjuks, who now - after his active career works as a fitness and light athletics coach. Please see his greatest achievements HERE and HERE. Both great athletes started the practice with their experience in sport, their wishes of dropping-out, milestones of overcoming it and greatest achievements and personal satisfaction of the achieved results, especially after a crisis and downturn. A total of 12 boys out of 16 attended this practice on the 3rd March. And another 2 boys joined in within the next week's practices. The coach of the team Viktors Brizgalovs is thankful for this help to the WoW Europe project team, but especially to the Romanian coordinators of this project by involving LSIIDP in it and having a possibility to restart the sport engine in Latvia through the activities of the WoW Europe project. And LSIIDP thanks Marius Dumitru and Alina David for this opportunity. Let's keep fingers crossed for this basketball team to stay joined, overcome the downturn and keep going on, for we believe that the best is yet to come! Video of the activity watch HERE.
Prior to the next monthly meeting of SWOST, the team of Latvia consisting of two members - Sandija Zalupe and Kaspars Saknins, held a local two-day meeting to commonly seek and identify the documents related to gender stereotypes in Latvia and any references to documents in European Union Member States. The team of Latvia browsed homepages of all sport functionaries that impact legislation of Latvia in sport issues and the decision-maker homepages – Ministry of Education and Science, Olympic Committee of Latvia, Olympic Union of Latvia and Sports Federations' Council of Latvia. As none of the previously mentioned organizations had any material in relation to the gender stereotypes in sport, the team of Latvia went deeper in the research and directly communicated the organizations. It turned out the there are no specific gender stereotype legislation in sport except for Sports Law Section 3: "Basic Principles to be followed in the Field of Sport", which states 1) the principle of equality, which provides that every person have the right to engage in sport. On the basis of this sentence gender equality in sports is balanced throughout Latvia, starting with the 4 main organizations and moving on to vocational oriented education organizations – sport schools and sport clubs of Latvia, grassroots sport clubs and general education schools.
Additionally, it was decided that the team of Latvia within the month of March calls together its members - the 83 sport schools, to find out if any of the sport schools and sport clubs have their own inner documents that govern the gender equality balance between men and women, as well as to discuss any other documents, articles, researches to be found.
During the 4th monthly meeting the SWOST team was discussing Bilateral Agreements, Tasks division and presentation of the working groups, Work Package 2 and an integral part of the whole project – Work Package 6, that deals with a significant issue of dissemination of the project results.
The team of the 2nd Work Package is gathering speed at collecting the best practices available throughout EC. The Work Package 2 leader is Francesca Vitali from University of Verona. Francesca has raised a high bar for other Work Package leaders! The first tasks set for the WP2 team to discuss the Initial Version of Methodology are:
UNIVR share an initial version;
VUB, CSCS, ILEPS, UNIVERSITY OF MONTENEGRO, Lapland University of Applied Sciences will review it;
Latvia this year is rich with snow and due to the pandemic situation people are doing various outdoor activities and so did we with the children of grades 1 and 2 on February 23. The second activity of the project WoW Europe was done on skis. This was a historical moment for except for two, the rest sixteen children did it for the first time. Nevertheless, you may see yourself that the children standing on skis for the first time ever, could even participate in a slight relay. Although the day was very cold 10 degrees below Celsius, thanks to the bright sun and the effort the new-beginners of skiing had to put in the activity, nobody felt cold. It was rather the opposite.
The activity was led by the sports teacher Agris Ķirsis and an athlete, participant of Beijing 2008 Olympic Games, Kristaps Zalupe, who introduced himself to the children, told his view of the benefits of doing sports and physical activities, which he does even up to this day, and invited them to keep doing their physical activities on a daily basis. But, what is the most important in anything a person does - is to do it from the heart.
After the introduction both leaders of the activity - the sports teacher Agris Ķirsis and Kristaps Zalupe, showed exercises to help them keep the balance and do skiing (with fewer falls). What was the activity like? You may see it yourself in the video of the day HERE.