Erasmus+ program in Guimarães, Portugal. Sports for All.
I got an opportunity to participate in “All in Sports Summit” held by Casa da Juventude de Guimarães from Oct 12th to Oct 14th, 2018 in Guimarães, Portugal. 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.
Sports For All by Casa da Juventude de Guimarães
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, I was representing Germany.
Guimarães is a small town near Porto (around 53 km). It is known as a Birth place of Portugal. The town has a unique historical and cultural importance in Portugal.
Panoramic View of Guimarães from Serra da Penha
I reached Porto Airport from Dusseldorf Germany. Guimarães is easily accessible with the shuttle bus called GET BUS from Porto Airport. The ticket is for Euro 8 and it took around 50 minutes. But you have to be careful about the timings of the bus.
I was 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 me to the hostel. Actually reaching to hostel is much faster on foot rather than with car. They also helped in checked in to the hostel and guided me to the room.The room had 4 bunk beds which were shared among 6 boys. I was the first one in the room so I selected my favorite bed.
I had a little free time so I went straightly to the old town of Guimarães to explore it. After exploring, I went back to the hostel. Almost all the participants had reached to the hostel at that time. We had a short introduction session with all the 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. I 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.I was really tired and went directly to the hostel and sleep on my comfy bed.
1st Day of Erasmus:
On next day, I 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.
Ready for "Sports For All"
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 I love Sea food and Guimarães is famous for its variety of Fish. I ate fish and fries with the strong Coffee.
Lunch time with the colleagues at "Sports for All"
The traditional Portuguese Cuisine
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.
Participants briefing us about their activities in Portugal.
After the summit, we went directly to hostel and went out to explore Guimaraes. We visited the Old City and the covered the Landmarks. I 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.
It was an interactive session on Portuguese History.
After that, all the participant sat together in a common lounge and played card games.I 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.
First Field Visit for Sports for All in Guimarães.
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.
Second Field Visit for Sports for All in Guimarães.
After the visit, we went out for a lunch in local Portuguese restaurant. There were two options of either eat the traditional dish of Duck and rice or Fish. Portugal is a heaven for a fish lover like me. I 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.
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, I tried the famous Francesinha of Guimarães. Francesinha is a sandwich with special sauce and fried egg. It was just amazing.
Dinner with Friends in a traditional restaurant in Guimaraes, Portugal.
Francesinha of Guimarães
After the dinner, we had a short meeting with the organizer in which participant had talked about their experience of the whole day and also the feedback and suggestions.
3rd Day of Erasmus:
Next morning, I again started my day with breakfast in the hostel mess. Then, we had a session in which the organizers had discussed different innovative business ideas. We formed a team of 4 and the task was given to us to come up with the business idea with social corporate responsibility and present it to all.
I was in the team of four member and we came up with a business idea of Introducing solar panels in Guimarães. We had explained all the aspects of the project like financing, partner companies, budgeting and Marketing etc. All the teams had introduced different innovative ideas which have been highly appreciated by the organizers.
Presenting Green Energy Initiative at Sports for All in Erasmus.
After the presentations, we had a lunch break and then we had a game of Peddy Paper in the city center. The idea of the game was to solve the 8 riddles and find the answer of the riddles in the city of Guimarães.
We formed different teams and each team has 6 members. Every team had two participants from Guimarães so they can be helpful in finding the places and conversation with locals. Every solving every riddle, we were supposed to take the picture with the monument. We had explored the whole town on foot for solving the riddles and also got to know about the history and culture of Guimarães.
Peddy paper game in Guimarães, Portugal
We had a last meeting with our organizers. We had discussed the whole project and our experiences. We also provided the suggestion that how they can further improve the summit for coming years.
We had our last dinner together in our hostel mess. After that, we had a small dance party where everybody was enjoying and showing their traditional way of dancing.
Some of the participant started leaving Guimarães for their way back. It was hard to say Good night when you are not sure if you will ever meet in your life again.
These three days of my life were something very different for me. I met new people and got a chance to know about different cultures and traditional and closely worked together in teams. The summit has brought very positive impact in my life. It brought a sense of responsibility that how we can contribute our part as in individual to help others. I would highly suggest students to take part in such activities for not only the betterment of the society but also building up your own personality.