New Erasmus+ project "Virtual Reality Approach to Anti-Doping Learning" (VIRAL) aims to improve anti-doping education in a groundbreaking way.

As the COVID -19 pandemic has spread around the world, concepts such as social distancing are being put into practice in education as well as in our daily life. This has created many new challenges for education, especially in sport related issues. The pandemic situation has made apparent the need for the transformation of education from traditional to digital. Policy makers in the sport sector will be forced to adopt social distancing measures in the provision of education, hence replacing face to face teaching in traditional classrooms will become more important. Sport organizations will use new technologies to transfer their traditional teaching practices to virtual ones and develop appropriate pedagogical approaches. In order to do this it is necessary to embed digital technologies in ways that support deep and meaningful learning and build multifunctional online environments.

This is the vision of the VIRAL project. VIRAL project aims to promote innovative and impactful anti-doping education through a virtual reality game targeting competitive and recreational athletes. New technologies can greatly increase the acceptance and impact of anti-doping education among a variety of target groups. Through the development of a Virtual Reality program, VIRAL project recognizes the need to move forward and improve the way anti-doping education is developed, delivered, and assessed. The project seeks to produce a novel and impactful anti-doping educational intervention by combining:

a) updated research from the social and behavioral sciences on doping usage
b) state-of-the-art learning pedagogies
c) cutting-edge virtual reality game design and technology.

Such an approach allows building an innovative anti-doping training resource that will be appealing to young athletes and trainers. Using existing evidence of anti-doping, VIRAL project will

a) utilize cutting-edge behavioral science research on the risk and protective factors against doping use in amateur and grassroots sports to inform the development of an anti-doping virtual reality program
b) use the 'Open Innovation' framework to code-sign anti-doping virtual reality programs through active collaboration among anti-doping experts, VR designers and young athletes in amateur and grassroots sports
c) promote a more positive mentality about drug-free and health-enhancing physical activity and sports.

ENSE is thrilled to be part of the project together with its coordinator, the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece, as well as Sheffield Hallam University (UK), University of Leipzig (Germany), Aalborg University and the Southern Denmark University (both Denmark).

Photo by TAFISA

From 6th to 7th of February, The Association For International Sport For All (TAFISA) hosted the kick-off meeting for the project “Training the Female Sport for All Leaders of Tomorrow”, co-funded by the European Commission.

Besides representatives from the African Union Sports Council Region 5, the Olympic Committee of Slovenia, the University of Ljubljana as well as TAFISA, Louis Moustakas, Secretary General of ENSE, joined the two-days meeting in Frankfurt, Germany. This meeting provided the project partners with an opportunity to discuss the project objectives and plan the next steps which involve recruiting mentors and mentees from Europe and Southern Africa to create “mentoring trios” as a way to empower young women and equip them with the necessary skills and knowledge to lead the Sport for All Movement. ENSE will contribute two mentors and mentees from the ENSE network to the project. 

Next week, the Sport Empowers Disabled Youth 2 (SEDY) project will hold its kick-off meeting in Amsterdam. 

Every person has the same right to participate in play, recreation and sporting activities, but equal access has not always to be the case for youth with disabilities. Instead, youth with disabilities are generally less physically active, participate less in sports activities and show a reduced fitness level compared to their non-disabled peers.

Besides Sport Federations as well as Sport Educational Institutes, ENSE is participating in this project, which aims to address these issues by encouraging inclusion and equal opportunities in sport. The consortium will be analyzing the field of sport and inclusion and the particular needs of disabled youth within this field of interest. A team of experienced researchers will develop and implement a Sport Participation and INclusion (SPIN) tool. This tool will consist of several practical instruments and interventions to assist youth with a disability to become more physically active.

First results of the project will be announced after the meeting on this website, more details on the SEDY 2 project can be found here.

ENSE participated in the seminar on “Human Rights in Sport”, which was held at the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg on the 20th of November 2019.

The event was organized by the Enlarged Partial Agreement on Sport (EPAS) Secretariat with the support of various entities such as the Secretariat of the Anti-doping Convention, the European Programme for Human Rights Education for Legal Professionals (HELP) and the European Court of Human Rights.

In this one-day seminar, stakeholders were informed about recent developments on human rights in sport from both a governmental perspective as well as through the lens of sports organisations.

During the seminar bilingual parallel workshops took place, fostering interesting discussions with key stakeholders in the respective fields.  The discussion featured in these workshops dealt with the discrimination against the LGBTI community in sport, the economic and social rights of athletes, the freedom of the sports press as well as the right to physical activity.

Thanks to EPAS and the Council of Europe for organizing the seminar and offering a platform to exchange views with specialists from sports ministries, sports organisations, academics and human rights experts from across Europe. 

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