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EU-sponsored IGETS program concludes second phase in Netherlands

posted Jun 11, 2017, 7:50 PM by Jairy Otero

HAARLEM, Netherlands — The second phase of the Erasmus+ Sports: Small Collaborative Partnerships projectInclusion & Gender Equality Through Softball, was held between 10-14 May in Haarlem, Netherlands.

The first phase of the IGETS project focused on capacity building for the three partner organisations — Softball Klub Princ Zagreb (Croatia), Olympia Haarlem (Netherlands), and the Redcoats (Malta). The second phase involved using the knowledge gained to improve the skills of the youth players of the three clubs.

During the meetings, the clubs identified weaknesses and sought options on how these could be overcome. Common issues raised were the need to strengthen the management and administration of the clubs’ organizations, the lack of volunteers, the need for adequate softball facilities, and the rising costs associated with the running of their club.

There are plans for a mentoring program to start in each club whereby players from the senior team will mentor a player of the youth teams. This will encourage volunteering while at the same time help the athletic development of the younger players.

There will also be a push to address the other important objectives of the project, such as inclusion, tackling the lack of media coverage of female athletes, and efforts to increase awareness about gender inequality in sports and efforts to try to reduce it.

The three partners agreed to undergo an organisation risk audit to identify potential risks and formulate a comprehensive risk management action plan related to the protection of minors, sexual harassment, and a code of conduct for volunteer coaches. Work will also be done to identify ways to make each club family friendly and more inclusive, as well as to achieve gender equality within Executive Committees.

Several capacity building sessions were also held with Olympia Haarlem Head Coach Stanley Doney, focusing on coaching methods and pitching styles and techniques. Eva Voortman, a pitcher on the Dutch national team, also demonstrated several drills that can be used to help improve the throwing speed as well as the mechanics, especially for young softball pitchers.

The host club, Olympia Haarlem, organised an Open Day for the local area children to promote the missions of the IGETS program. This included encouraging the children not just to be physically active, but to participate in more than one sport, and also to encourage children coming from different ethnic groups to take up a sport as a means to integrate in their community.

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