Strong Mind for Success (SMS)

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From May 15–18, 2024, the Project Consortium gathered for a mid-term partners meeting in Solkan and Ajdovščina, Slovenia to assess the outputs and progress of the Strong Mind for Success (SMS) Project. The Strong Mind for Success (SMS) is an initiative co-funded by the European Union through the Erasmus+ Sport Call 2022 with the partnership of Asociacia Za Razvitie Na Bulgarskiasport – Bulgaria, Sport Club Endorfin – Slovenia, and L’ORMA – Italy. The aim of the Project is to support young football players’ mental health. The project seeks to educate academy football players, both male and female, the value of mental health in order to improve their on-field performance, the reasons why mental health matters in the twenty-first century, and how to live a more balanced lifestyle. This 2-day event was hosted by Sport Club Endorfin in Slovenia with the representatives of BSDA, Bulgaria and L’ORMA, Italy.

On the first day – May 16 2024, all the representatives from each partner gathered to discuss the project progress and outputs developed. After a brief meeting session, all the partners headed to a local football ground where they witnessed a football training session in progress for the young football players. The representatives observed the training session of the young athletes as they demonstrated their hard-work and football skills with the support and guidance of the trainers. The training session was quite productive and fun as each young athlete and the trainers enjoyed the experience.

The representatives also participated in some of the football activities to get the hands-on experience of the sport on a practical level, fostering a deeper appreciation for the training process.  Later that day, all the representatives from each organization visited the newly build gymnastics hall where they were given a tour of the facilities and the modernized structure.

Following an exciting first day, the representatives on the second day enjoyed a historical tour of Sabotin Peace Park and a picturesque e-bike ride from Europa Square to the longest stone bridge in the world, the Solkan Bridge. This event promoted sports and cultural tourism by showcasing the rich cultural and natural assets of the Solkan and Nova Gorica regions. All representatives had great experiences thanks to the well-balanced activities, which highlighted the historical significance and natural beauty of the area.

With the 2-day event concluded, all the partners had a concise idea of the way forward for the project and have planned the following main project outputs:

  • Online platform on the importance of addressing mental health in the sport;
  • Continued practical phase of development of new project ideas through the project lifetime;
  • Implementing quality educational and research activities focused on the development of mental health amongst youth football players.

With the knowledge gathered and experiences grathered, more analysis will be carried out on aspects of mental health development while ensuring quality performances on the field for the targeted demographic, which consists of male and female youth athletes (ages 13 to 17), as this age range is vital to the athletes’ psychological growth.

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