Updated: May 27, 2020
Erasmus+ program in Guimarães, Portugal. Sports for All.
The project has been arranged by Casa da Juventude de Guimarães and its partner NGOs at Youth House of Guimarães. The purpose of the summit is to encourage and support the sports activities for those who are less privileged or facing any physical disabilities.
The summit has participants from different countries and backgrounds under the group leader. There were participations from partners in Germany, Italy and obviously from the host country: Portugal. Each country has its own group leader who was responsible for the functionality of the summit in their countries as well. As being a part of Berlin Youth Venture, we were representing Germany.
We reached Porto Airport from Dusseldorf Germany. Guimarães is easily accessible with the shuttle bus called GET BUS from Porto Airport. The ticket is for € 8 and it took around 50 minutes. But you have to be careful about the timings of the bus.
We were received at bus stop by the representatives of Casa da Juventude de Guimarães. They had already arranged a youth hostel for all the participants. The bus station was just 1 km away from the Youth hostel. The representatives drove us to the hostel. Actually reaching to hostel is much faster on foot rather than with car. They also helped us checking in the hostel and guided us to the rooms.The room had 4 bunk beds which were shared among different participants.
We had a little free time so we went straightly to the old town of Guimarães to explore it. After exploring, we went back to the hostel. Almost all the participants had reached to the hostel at that time. We had a short introduction session with participants. We were around 22-25 participants. The organizers also explained the agenda and schedule of next three days.
Then, we headed towards the restaurant nearby for the dinner. All the participants walked across the narrow river and reached the local restaurant for traditional Portuguese dinner. We had tried traditional fish with the combination of rice and egg with Portuguese coffee. We had a very friendly conversation with all the participant and organizers.We were really tired and went directly to the hostel and sleep on my comfy bed.
1st Day of Erasmus:
On next day, we woke up early in the morning as we had planned to leave the hostel at 9:00 AM. The breakfast was served in the Hostel. After a quick breakfast, all the participants gathered in front of the hostel and headed towards the local school in Guimarães.
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The organizers had distributed the shirt and useful plastic Glass with the logo of “Sports For All” among the participant. The sports activity was designed in which we had played different sports with the school students.
The main concept of the games was how we can make the sports more exclusive for the people who are facing physical challenges. The games were also promoting the idea of involvement in physical activities and team building. We also had a short intervals and tea breaks between the different games.
After the sport activities, we went together for the lunch in a local restaurant in old town.
As we love Sea food and Guimarães is famous for its variety of Fish. We ate fish and fries with the strong Coffee.
After the break, there was a Seminar session with the associations in Guimarães and nearby area.
In the summit, the associations had presented their work and achievement and the steps they had introduced in recent year to make the sports inclusive for all.
After the summit, we went directly to hostel and went out to explore Guimaraes. We visited the Old City and the covered the Landmarks. We must say its one of the well preserved UNESCO heritage site. After exploring the city we came back to the hostel and had a dinner in hostel mess with a little chit chat with other participants.
After the dinner, the organizers had arranged a special Portuguese night for us. They had explained the history of Portugal and Guimarães and then we had typical Portuguese food like codfish, Olives and Pastries. We had played different games together. It was a very fun night for all the participants.
After that, all the participant sat together in a common lounge and played card games. We did not stay for a much time as it was a hectic day and went to my bed early.
2nd Day of Erasmus:
On the next morning, after the quick breakfast we gathered infront of hostel. According to our agenda, the organizers had arranged a field visit for the participants.
Firstly, we had visited a play ground near Guimarães. The location was near the area where many kids and youth are deprived from the playground. The organizers had already cleaned the ground and planned to paint it in order to make it perfect for the kids.
After every visit, we had an ice breaking session between all the participants and we used to play different plays that kept us more excited and energetic.
The second location was also near Guimarães. There was a small park which has few swings and see saw for the kids. The organizers planned to install the rides that can be accessible to the physical challenged kids.
There was also a small indoor vacant space which was planned to be used for the installation of the workout machines for the people who were living nearby.
After the visit, we went out for a lunch in local Portuguese restaurant. There were two options of either eat the traditional Duck and rice or Fish. Portugal is a heaven for a fish lover like us. We again ate crispy fried fish with some Portuguese bread.
We visited another residential area which was provided by the government for the underprivileged families. The main problem faced by the kids and youth of the area was that they did not have any guidance from their parents so they were deprived from the path and wasting their time in unnecessary stuff.
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We had discussed the ideas that how we can use the sports to bring an inspiration in their daily routine and make them disciplined and well organized. After that we went to another NGO, the guest speaker from the organization explained us how they had worked with government officials of Guimarães in order to have the sports available for all.
We had also discussed the plan how we can implement these things in our countries with local NGO to make the sports the inclusive for all people.
We had some free time after the conference. So we decided to visit the mountain of Perhna which just 2 km from Guimarães.
We again gathered in front of the hostel and went together for the dinner in the restaurant in the old town of Guimarães. Finally, we tried the famous Francesinha of Guimarães. Francesinha is a sandwich with special sauce and fried egg. It was just amazing.