Waterford Institute of Technology was among an esteemed panel of academic and sporting partners at the first project meeting for the Sports Club for Health (SCforH) in EU member states Programme, which took place in Helsinki last month.
Supported by the Erasmus+ Sports Programme, WIT was represented by Department of Health, Sport and Exercise Science researcher Dr. Aoife Lane. According to Dr. Lane, the premise of the project was to examine how sports clubs are working to promote health through means outside of standard sporting activity.
“The project has an extensive partner network of scientists working in health enhancing physical activity and practitioners working with sports clubs on the ground. The conference was a great way to get collective insights from both those at grass roots level and academics on how to create a roadmap for action.”
“Over the course of the two day conference we discussed how to introduce actionable, achievable and practical guidelines for best practice for sports clubs and training organisations. While the project is targeted primarily at sports clubs and federations at a local level, representations will also be made to European and regional decision makers as how to make practical tools available to enhance physical activity for all.”
Project outcomes were determined and include a report of the current status of the SCforH programmes in EU countries; recommendations for sport associations based on best practices on how to best support sport clubs to implement the SCforH Guidelines; scientific articles about the evidence base for SCforH programmes; updated SCforH guidelines and a resolution about how to promote SCforH programmes in EU countries.
The programme will run for two and a half years and will be finalized by June 2017. WIT was among a panel of European representation that also included Valo (Finnish Sports Confederation), University of Zagreb, Swedish Sports Confederation, Danish International Sport and Culture Organisation, the German Gymnastic Federation and the Gaelic Games Association, which was represented by Colin Regan, GAA Community and Health Manager.