SWoSt Meeting #5_08.04.2021.

A Day before the monthly meeting of SWOST team, the WP2 team met in a separate meeting to prepare a report for the rest of the SWOST team. The main idea of the work for the report was focusing on the gender equality supplementing ideas of two more projects that are now active: TWOST and FREACO, that makes a total of 22 partners of the 3 projects.

The aims:
1.To identify all the scientific researches and the possible outcomes of similar projects (i.e., good practices) already realized in the EU context on gender stereotypes in sport and,
2.To combine all the positive previous experiences with an aimed standardized methodological approach. One of the good examples already discovered during the preparation of the project proposal is the project ALL IN: Towards gender balance in sport.
3.To define a gender stereotype as the first methodological step. In order to define the gender stereotype, it is necessary to:

  • Define ‘gender’, then
  • Define ‘gender identity’, after
  • Define ‘gender stereotypes’, and finally
  • Define ‘gender stereotypes in SWOST’.

In order to achieve the stated aims, a discussion on the Initial Version of the SWOST WP2 Methodology was encouraged:

  • UNIVR will share an initial version (to present during our next monthly SWOST online meeting in May)
  • VUB, CSCS, ILEPS, UNIVERSITY OF MONTENEGRO, Lapland University of Applied Sciences will review it
  • It will be focused on evaluating and contrasting gender-based stereotypes in sport
  • This will be our initial step to develop the methodology
  • All partners’ involvement is warmly welcome!

RSE: Remote Running Competition 12.-30.04.2021

LSIIDP in cooperation with the Olympic Center "Limbaži" within the project RSE: Restart Sport Engine in EU organizes remote running competition from April 12 to April 30 this year, when everyone can run the distance at his or her convenience, under the program Strava in the relevant segment HERE.

Additionally, children and youth from Limbaži and Salacgrīva Regional School of Sport have an opportunity to participate in the competition in another category by collecting the run kilometers under the program Strava in any place in the same period of time.

The project aims to develop sporting skills of at least 800 people in 5 European countries in a 12-months period and to restart the sport engine through physical activity and return to at the least pre-pandemic level. In order to promote the project and boost up the dissemination of the results, we have attracted the project ambassador - Olympian, kayaker Kristaps Zalupe, who will not only join the runners in the distance, but also in the awards ceremony.

The activity is disseminated through LSIIDP homepage, LSIIDP Facebook profile, Olympic Centre homepage, Olympic Centre Limbazi Facebook profile and project ambassador's Facebook profile.

SWoSt Local Meeting #2 25.03.2021

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.

SWoSt Local Meeting #3 26.03.2021

The day after the second local meeting among all LSIIDP members, local project SWOST members Sandija Zalupe and Kaspars Saknins held another local meeting to on hot feet not to lose any of the urgent information. Documents LSIIDP SWOST team members dealt with were the following:

1.Research on "Dzimuma aspekta ietekmes analīzes valsts un pašvaldības budžeta procesos" (Eng. 'Gender Impact Analysis in State and Local Government Budget Processes') 2017 that concern also gender equality issues relating sport - to be further worked on and the abstract reported to the WP2 leader and the project coordinator.

Video on "Dzimumu līdztiesība sportā: Vai vīriešu sporta veidi medijos ir redzamāki nekā sieviešu?" (Eng. Gender Equality in Sport: Are Men's Sports More Visible in the Media than Women's?) 2017 dealing with the current situation not only in Latvia, but also in Lithuania.

3.Article on "Sieviete sporta pasaulē — stereotipu laušana" (Eng. "A Woman in the World of Sports - Breaking Stereotypes') 2017 interviewing ex-president of the biggest sport federations of Latvia - Athletics.

4.Article on "Sievietes sportā: seksisms, vienlīdzība vai godīgums?" (Eng. 'Women in Sport: Sexism, Equality or Fairness?') 2018 dealing with concerns about sexism in tennis and beach volleyball.

5.Statistics on "Dzimumu līdztiesības rādītāji Centrālā statistikas pārvalde" (Eng. 'Gender Equality Indicators') 2019 from Central Statistical Bureau regarding six main fields: education, employment, social security, authority, violence, health. Learning the data of authority regarding the proportion of elected women and men in Saeima of Latvia, it is more than twice as much for men, which is also observed among sport functionaries of Latvia.

Research on "Dzimumu līdztiesības principu īstenošana Latvijas pašvaldībās" (Eng. 'Implementation of Gender Equality Principles in Local Governments of Latvia') 2003, among different facts regarding gender equality in sport recognizing the promotion of a sporty lifestyle associated only with the lifestyle and health of one sex - men.

Research on "Dzimumu līdztiesības principu integrēšana mācību grāmatās" (Eng. 'Gender Mainstreaming in Textbooks') 2005, identifying unequal demands in school sport lessons between girls and boys in elementary grades.

8.Project Erasmus+ Sport (579709-PPE-1-2016-2-EL-SPO-SCP) "Godīga spēle un gandarījums sportā" (Eng. 'Fair Play and Happiness through Sports') 2017, with the project partners: Latvia, Italy, Bulgaria, Romania, Greece. The Latvian language guide identifies that gender equality in sport is directly linked to gender hierarchies in society. One point that especially needs the attention of coaches is the risk of creating stereotypes between men's and women's sports activities, when boys choose to participate in so-called "women's" sports (eg.skating, gymnastics). Something similar is happening with girls, who feel a strong call for "men's sports" (eg.football, martial arts).

9.Qualitative research on "Iedzīvotāju izpratne un attieksme pret dzimumu līdztiesības jautājumiem" (Eng. 'Comprehension and Attitude of Citizens towards Gender Equality Issues') 2001, regarding education field and recognizing "athletes boys" and unfair attitude towards women's heptathlon and men's decathlon.

10. Video on "Salauzt stereotipu" (Eng. 'Break a Stereotype') 2021, where a well-known Latvian woman coach of Freestyle Wrestling. She says: "I want to break the stereotype that only boys can wrestle. Girls also can. Freestyle Wrestling develops strength, endurance, dexterity, flexibility, coordination, character and discipline. It is also necessary for women and girls," a Freestyle Wrestling Coach Irina Petrova from Daugavpils is confident."

11. Research on "Gender Equality in the Media" 2021, where ITF examines sports gender equality across the media and social media, commissioned as part of its ITF’s Advantage All gender equality strategy. Findings reveal clear differences in the way male and female players are portrayed.

12. Article on "COVID-19, women, girls and sport: Build back better" 2020, revealing that impacts of COVID-19 are already being felt harder by women and girls in many areas of life due to gender inequalities, and this is mirrored in sport. It presents key recommendations to different actors in the sport ecosystem so that women and girls’ gains in sport are not lost.

13. Work Group of the Minsitry of Education and Science on a reasearch of "Sporta finansēšanas modeļa pilnveide" (Eng. 'Improvement of Sports Financing Model' of Latvia) 2021, covering also an issue of equality. Federations should be considered as the basic unit in national sport and, given the large number of recognized federations, special care should be taken to ensure equal opportunities for all. Yet the gathered research data do not show the equality. This Working Group continues to work on the development and implementation of this study.

WoW Europe 3rd Activity 03.03.2021.

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.