Mountains are calling for YOUth is a project organised by a member club of the Cyprus Mountaineering, Climbing and Orienteering Federation (CMCOF) which aims to enhance and foster the participation of young people in mountain sports and activities through the engagement of youth with decision-makers in structured dialogues. By raising awareness about the variety of mountain sports activities, the project seeks to promote inclusion and develop safety awareness.
Vision, goals and objectives
Acknowledging the disconnection of youth with mountains and Mountain Sports and Activities (MSA), as identified in a survey with youth conducted by Active Zone Outdoor, the KA3 project “Mountains are calling for YOUth” aims at enhancing and fostering the participation of youth with sports and activities through the engagement of youth with decision-makers in structured dialogues. Mountains are calling for YOUth addresses the following objectives:
- Explore the positive impact of MSA for the physical and mental health of youth;
- Raise awareness about the variety of MSA;
- Create more inclusive MSA for youth emphasising on increasing the participation of women and girls;
- Develop safety awareness to allow youth to exploit MSA while minimising the risks of injuries;
- Identify the traits and the profile of role models and trainers in MSA;
- Enhance democratic participation of youth through their participation in four dialogues with policy makers while raising awareness about the EU Youth Strategy and the significance of KA3 projects in enhancing the participation of young people in democratic life.
Expected implementation and outcomes
The project will engage a total of 375 participants including young people aged between 13 and 30, 225 of whom will physically participate in the four dialogues of the project and 150 will participate in the online consultation survey for the purposes of the project. The group will be composed of, but not be limited to, youth workers, youth and outdoor leaders, school and university students, young professionals with sports science university education, physical education teachers, mountain sports athletes and coaches, youth active in society, sports and outdoor activities as well as decision makers and experts in four thematic dialogues related to MSA. The first dialogue will identify measures to make MSA more accessible to youth acknowledging the various difficulties (e.g. equipment, MSA are mainly located in remote areas) that discourage youth from actively getting involved in MSA.
Bearing in mind the significantly low engagement of females in MSA in Cyprus, the objective of the second dialogue, which will be organised with the support of the NGOs Cyprus Girls Can and Thkio logia, is to initially explore the reasons which preserve this situation and further elaborate on possible measures which could improve it.
The third dialogue is connected to the development of safety rules in MSA and risk assessment ability, identifying the principles related to safety, focusing on measures of how to create safe MSA experiences and also producing a Safety Guide to be distributed to organisations, clubs, groups operating MSA.
The final dialogue will explore the traits of role models, leaders and trainers in MSA acknowledging their important role in motivating youth to be active in sports. The dialogues will be facilitated with the methodology of the Structured Dialogue and will be organised in remote, mountainous areas and National Parks.
Climbing, mountaineering or outdoor sport focus
“Mountains are calling for YOUth” aims at enhancing and fostering the participation of youth with such kind of sports and activities through the engagement of youth with decision-makers in structured dialogues. It is expected that the project will motivate youth to share, exchange and discuss views and beliefs with decision-makers on topics around MSA allowing them to enhance their understanding and appreciation of the democratic procedures. In addition, suggesting feasible measures to make MSA more inclusive for youth will give the opportunity to any young person in Cyprus, regardless of his/her financial, geographical or physical status and background, to experience the uniqueness of MSA and discover their benefits.
Given the fact that the dialogues will take place in remote, mountainous areas and National Parks which offer MSA infrastructure, it is expected they will be promoted at a local and national level as places where youth and not only can visit and get involved in alternative MSA experience. To this respect, representatives from local authorities will get the opportunity to highlight to the participants any actions already taken for the development and promotion of MSA for professionals and amateurs.
Best practice in mountaineering and mountain-based sports for mountain protection
The project provides the unique opportunity to young people aged between 13 and 30 to voluntarily participate in a youth policy project, interact with policy makers about how to foster youth participation in Mountain and Sport Activities. The volunteers will come from an extended range of educational status, academic skills, knowledge and outdoor sports experience. It is extremely significant to include youth with motivation and keen on the subjects of the dialogues sharing some of the needs below:
– Concerned about healthy lifestyle of youth;
– Interested in outdoor and alternative sports activities;
– Sensitive about active youth participation leading to social change and policy reform;
– Need to get together with other youth and share views and concerns on the aspects of the dialogues;
– Need to interact with role models who can motivate them through their life stories
In terms of background and affiliation of the decision-makers and experts, these represent the following:
– Sports federations such as Cyprus Mountaineering, Climbing and Orienteering Federation, Cyprus Ski Federation, Cyprus Cycling Federation;
– Municipal Councils and local authorities where the dialogues will take place;
– Professionals (e.g. coaches, athletes) in sports and more specifically in MSA;
– Cyprus Scouts Association and Mountain Rescue teams;
– Cyprus Commissioner of Volunteerism & NGOs;
– Cyprus Representative of Youth Commission of the UIAA (International Federation of Mountaineering and Climbing);
– Role Models; Leaders in MSA;
– Board of Directors of NGOs (e.g. Cyprus Girls Can, Thkio Logia)
To discover more about the UIAA Mountain Protection Award please click here.