Water sports such as swimming, water polo, diving, synchronized swimming and many other are very attractive and popular sports among people almost all cross cultures. Competitive sports provide spectators and fans great benefits including joy, social contacts and a healthy attitude towards games, sports and competitive sports. Swimming and all the water sports are interpreted as educational and cohesion means that increase wellbeing, socialization and the quality of life. According to the Strategy for the rights of persons with disabilities 2021-2030, adopted by the European Commission in March 2021, based on the previous European Disability Strategy 2010-2020, accessible and inclusive sport, art, culture, leisure, recreational activities are essential for full participation in society. They increase wellbeing and give everyone, including persons with disabilities, the opportunity to develop and utilize their potential. The Commission will strengthen the participation of persons with disabilities in all these areas by pursuing cooperation with mainstream and disability-specific sports organizations at all levels. The Erasmus+ program fosters financial support and other inclusion measures for participants with disabilities. With this communication letter, we wish to present two Erasmus+ Sport projects currently on going: Swim your way and VIWAS. They are realized by a partnership of organizations from Greece, Romania, Italy, Slovenia and Croatia. Swim your way aims at delivering a guide to teach swimming to persons with disabilities. The partnership involves organizations operating in different areas, with different yet complementary competencies, specifically, two Universities, two swimming clubs, and a nonprofit association. As physical activity, health, and quality of life are interconnected, through this project people with disabilities will get more health and safety benefits. Moreover, the project will raise social awareness, promote their social inclusion, boost their confidence and develop their social skills in line with the European Union’s main objectives. The Guide will be offered as an Open Educational Resource to other professionals of the sport, swimming instructors, teachers, and trainers and it will be available in English, Italian, Greek, Romanian, and Slovenian. Regarding VIWAS project, the acronym means Visually Impaired Water Polo Spectators. Water Polo is a popular sport which allows spectators and fans to share joyful spirit, team-building attitude, and participation to celebrating the match days. However not everyone can enjoy such benefits, for example, blind and visually impaired people have difficulty playing and following the water polo matches. This is the reason why VIWAS was born. The output will be a guide, in 5 languages (English, Italian, Greek, Croatian, and Slovenian), to broadcast this sport to the blind and visually impaired people and other professionals of the sport. The European Union's cohesion policy supports the social inclusion of people with disabilities and what better way to achieve this than through sport?
The first meeting took place on the 25th February 2021 during which the partners confirmed their roles, tasks and responsibilities and they expressed the willingness to produce a quality product. The second meeting was held on the 19th March 2021 and the partners discussed the dissemination of the project and the future steps. In all these meetings, it was very nice to see the positive attitude of all partners and their effort to start working and create the basis for a great work!
Our next challenge: trying to meet in person during the Summer!
Don't miss the opportunity to be always updated, following the FB page: https://www.facebook.com/viwasproject