The GeoLAB final conference took place last December 2, 2022, in Paredes, the Portuguese partner city that hosted the presentation of outcomes and future perspectives of the Project.
The event was participated by all the partner coming from Italy, Slovenia, Croatia, Bulgaria and Portugal, focusing on the theme “Sustainability and Inclusion in Sport”, at the presence of two classes of local students.
The President of the City, Alexandre Almeida, opened the Conference thanking for the opportunity of building up an EU network involved in preventing isolation and discrimination through street sport activities and running, which Paredes will continue to develop: “the whole of Paredes’ population will benefit from GeoLAB, especially from the interaction with other nations. We will always be ready to welcome new projects.”
Marlene Mendes Silva, also in the role of moderator, is the responsible of the programme called “Paredes Integra”: “We are working very hard, especially with and for young people, through sports and culture. We have a golf project, for instance, called ‘Golf for All’ made for people of all ages. I believe this is a way to integrate all members of the same family, working together towards inclusion.“
Second speech was given by Alcídio Jesus, from the Portuguese Institute for Sport and Youth – IPDJ, who talked about the importance of sport, both at a governmental and territorial level, and of ecological transition through sports.
The session proceeded thanks to the interventions of Leonel Ferreira, head of the Inclusion and Adapted Sports Working Group; Gonçalo Ferreira, “CACI Sobrosa” Project technician, a psychologist working with people with disabilities; Glória Salgado, “CLDS 4G” Project Coordinator; and finally, João Costa, from the EnvironmentDepartment: “All municipalities are tackling more and more with sustainability: what if it were sports that send the message?”
During the second part of the seminar, GeoLAB Project outcomes was presented, together with the elements of sustainability and replicability by Rossella Moia and Chiara Spinato, from Italian Athletics Federation – FIDAL.
After that some peculiar aspects were deepened: Enrica Loda, intervening on carbon neutrality and sport: “We have demonstrated how the issue of sustainability can be approached and how it can be done in a concrete way using the carbon credits system” and Gorazd Skrt, on the link between sport and tourism, as a source of new opportunities; Sammy Marcantognini, the main teacher of GeoLAB Academy, pointed out the relevance Street Coaches could have for inclusion and life education.
Finally, Street Coaches from Bulgaria, Croatia, Italy, Portugal and Slovenia told about their experience and expressed huge satisfaction and gratitude in being part of the Academy and of the RAREs.
Paulo Eusebio, from the Municipality of Paredes, closed the Conference: “Honestly, results and value of the Project have been surprising, for such a small city and a small team… I hope this won’t be the last one. Thank you all!”
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