Sports for Social Inclusion of At-risk Teenagers (LLI-402 risk-free)

Latgale Planning Region as a Lead Partner, together with 3 project partners – Latgale Region Development Agency (LV), Visaginas Municipality administration (LT) and Ignalina Culture and Sport Centre (LT) – is implementing project of the Interreg V-A Latvia – Lithuania Cross Border Cooperation Programme 2014-2020, which directly contributes to the Programme Priority 3: Social Inclusion as a Precondition of Territorial Development, and its Specific Objective 3.1: To improve accessibility and efficiency of social services.

The overall objective: to promote social inclusion of at-risk children and youth through sports by improving the public sports infrastructure and accessibility to organized sports activities, as well as establishment of the necessary social partnerships of organizations as the support mechanism for creating street sports culture in the Latvia-Lithuania cross-border area as an instrument for social inclusion.

 Project implementation period: 01 April, 2018 – 31 March, 2020.

Total projects size is 750 973,98 EUR. Out of them co-funding of European Regional Development Fund is 638 327,88 EUR.

(LP – 133 095,00 EUR, PP2 – 359 394,00 EUR, PP3 – 116 449,99 EUR, PP4 – 142 034,99 EUR).

The project is designed to elaborate, test and introduce a new social inclusion method for integration of at-risk teenagers through sports activities by offering them access to the street sports activities and fostering their integration back in the education process and society as a whole. Sports here will be used as an instrument for social inclusion of children and youth to prevent them from involvement in risky, criminal or immoral activities.

The project will commence with development of support mechanism for social inclusion of at-risk teenagers through sports consisting of:

1) capacity-building for persons working with the at-risk children and teenagers to raise their competence in working with and better understanding this specific target group, as well as create a network for exchange of information and best practice,

2) elaboration of approach and methods on how to use sports as an instrument for social inclusion of at-risk teenagers that will be compiled in a Methodological manual for staff working with the at-risk teenagers, and

3) improvement of public outdoor sports infrastructure in 13 local municipalities to ensure accessibility to organized sports activities to vulnerable groups, especially at-risk teenagers at no cost thus contributing to creating street sports culture in the Latvia-Lithuania cross-border area that will serve as an instrument for social inclusion.

The project will organize 3 types of sports activities with the involvement of the target group:

1) sports activities including training and coaching of a selected group of at-risk teenagers at each project location based on the developed infrastructure

2) open public street sports activities led by a person popular among the teenagers thus promoting the street sports culture,

3) Ghetto games – 1-day street sports competition events that will gather teams from both Latvia and Lithuania competing in various street sports disciplines.

Aforementioned activities will be supported by series of communication activities such as promotion of the developed model for social inclusion of at-risk teenagers through sports on project partners websites and social media accounts, and organizing an awareness raising campaign in social media targeted at children and youth promoting street sports culture and the established sports infrastructure, as well as marketing of the project events.

The Interreg V-A Latvia – Lithuania Cross Border Cooperation Programme 2014-2020 aims to contribute to the sustainable and cohesive socio-economic development of the Programme regions by helping to make them competitive and attractive for living, working and visiting. The webpage of the Programme: www.latlit.eu. Official EU webpage: www.europa.eu.

This project is funded by the European Union. This publication has been produced with the financial assistance of the European Union. The contents of this publication are the sole responsibility of Latgale Planning Region and can under no circumstances be regarded as reflecting the position of the European Union.