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A journey with active European young citizens

Statements by EYSF2012 impact players


You may wonder how a journey with 100 young European active citizens in the field of youth and sport may look like... what is this movement and wave you may have already felt.

Well true is big things always start from small ones and it’s only by being all together that we will achieve what we aim for... MOVING EUROPE.

Participants, speakers, facilitators and volunteers have shared their visions and experiences of the event with us. They told u about their journey through the Forum and their wishes for the future. Find out more about the hidden benefits and the learning points from this Forum. They shared their doubts and fears but also their will and positive energy. The European youth butterfly effect is on it’s way now.


Let us share with you their journey!



At the dawn of their journey, they decided to move.

Each journey starts by a reason –whether conscious or unconscious– to move... We asked the EYSF2012 impact players what were their own, why they decided to jump in and took over this challenge.



Agata Pietron (Participant - Poland) – “I applied for EYSF2012 because I wanted to meet new people, learn from these people and take what I learn back home to my organisation and develop them further.


Francesca Kelly (Participant - UK) – “My motivation for participating in the forum was being able to explore the current context in Europe and what barriers people and organisations are facing.”


Erika Gulyas (Participant - Hungary) – “I have been team skating for 20 years now and I have learned so much from sport – team work, leadership, confidence. I appreciate sport and what it can offer me and now I coach to pass on my knowledge to the next generation of skaters. By joining EYSF2012 I knew I will be able to deliver even more while learning from others.


Kevin Mayne (Speaker – Belgium) – “One of the key things that unites every sector I have worked with is the need to identify and harness the potential of emerging talent, the leaders of the next generation. While joining EYSF I have been looking for their insight into the issues that face Europe’s young people in coming years, not just in the field of sport, for inspiration. This inspiring group of young leaders keep us old guys on our toes.



They meet early in the morning and define their own compass


EYSF2012 impact players took the time to prepare their journey together in order to lay promising and solid foundations for the future. They came from across Europe to Larnaca, Cyprus to get to know each other and develop a common understanding of their journey to leadership and change.


Christian Bigom (Participants - Denmark) – “It is a great opportunity for different cultures to engage and break stereotypes, not only with their own cultures but with all 28 countries represented. This truly is the best way to bring different countries together and share experiences.


Andreas N. Louroutziatis ( Host – Cyprus) - “EYSF2012 gives participants the opportunity to create a context to know each other and to become more aware of each other’s aspirations, needs and expectations within the framework of the European Union.”


Michele Belluci (Facilitator – Italy) – “I came with a suitcase full of questions, ideas, some fears and proposals. Having gathering together and exchange to define which path to follow, which objectives to set helped me to find some answers... The holistic and non-formal approach allowed room enough for all the participants to find their own way and get a sense of ownership of the compass we have been defining together.



During the day they followed three different paths...


These paths all lead naturally to the same destination... not to Rome but to sport and physical activities in the services of society and individuals...


oVolunteering path

Grzegorz Wieclaw (Participant - Poland) – “Volunteering opens door to the unknown. The potential is unlimited.


Jakub Kalinowski (Speaker - Poland) – “We do not need any special tools to retain volunteers; we just need to listen to their needs and expectations. One of the challenges we mostly focus on is making volunteering high on the political agenda (during crisis), but we actually tend to forget that volunteers are human beings, with their own needs, problems and expectations.”


oHealth path

James Gregory (Facilitator - UK) - “In terms of access to health through physical activities, the barriers are still the same they were 10 years ago. To tackle this issue, collaboration of different sectors is vital especially if we want to close the gap in the participation between rich and poor people.”

Paolo Emilio Adami (Speaker – Italy) - “Physical Activity can take place in many conditions and should be encouraged to fit into daily lives instead of expecting us (citizens) to make huge efforts to be physically active. Among others, urban planning is vital to encouraging physical activity.  Green area facilitating and providing incentives for people to move are needed!


oParticipation path

Nevena Od Vesla (Facilitator - Serbia) – “If we want to have a real impact and if we want to have recommendations implemented, it is important that we have a clear understanding of Youth Policy. Understanding the significance of Youth Policy in terms of youth participation.


Sari Asikainen (Participant - Finland) – “Let's not be the leaders of the coming future, let's be leaders already today. We can do it - just jump on it!”



In the late afternoon they met a group who asked them to share their map


Were these persons lost? Certainly not but they were curious to discover new paths and check if they had been exploring all the ways we can think of.

Meeting the EU Sport Directors and presenting the Forum Declaration to a wide range of key stakeholders had been a milestone for the youth to make their voice heard.


Zenon Severis (Panellist - Cyprus) – “The presentation and the Declaration itself are of great interest and priceless for us to think again. They are interesting not only because it looks forward but also because it is actually empowering a full generation. It is an honour to represent the cabinet if the Commissioner Vassiliou on this occasion and listening to your recommendations.


Wolfgang Schulze (Sport Director – Germany) – “You are doing great things here. I think that you have the energy and the motivation to work hard and I am sure that you can contribute to the development of EU citizens. I wish you all the best and I hope that there will be more and more sports forums like this.



At twilight they get ready to go back home

But the journey is not finished yet. The Forum was simply a crossroads, a meeting point, the beginning of a process...
All EYSF2012 impact players took strong commitments.

But the journey is not finished yet. The Forum was simply a crossroads, a meeting point, the beginning of a process...

All EYSF2012 impact players took strong commitments.


Liis Tapasia (Participant - Estonia) – “The good thing is that we had an amazing week, it was a privilege to meet all of the participants, speakers and facilitators. We did a great job and had a lot of fun. I hope we can get the EYSF Futures group going and change the future of sport in Europe!


Miikka Neuvonen (Participant - Finland) – “EYSF 2012 took my breath away. Very dear old friends and amazing new friends, inspiring and exciting group tasks and other sessions, awesome group of facilitators and most of all a lot of knowledge and some lifelong friends were gained and made. Let the legacy live on and let's practise what we preach. Believe. Dream. Experience. Achieve.


Vassos Koutsioundas (Panellist – Cyprus) – “I commit myself to send the final Forum Declaration to all the EU Sport Directors you met yesterday and make sure they will read it and be ready to welcome your delegation.”


Jacob Schouenborg (Panellist – Denmark) – “I have a pledge for you. I promise your recommendations will be presented to all the policy and key decision makers we will meet in the coming months.”


Sorin Buruiana (Organiser – Romania) - "EYSF was a great experience, both in terms of outcomes and process. More than the results, I am excited about the concrete follow-up activities, about the legacy and the energy carried out from this Forum. It's incredible to see that meetings have already been planned with members of the parliament, local governments, NGOs, all initiated by the EYSF participants, to present the Declaration and engage more partners."






Note: There are obviously much more stories, insights and commitments to share.

This collection does not meant to be a comprehensive one but rather to give you a taste of the event.

Special thanks to all the contributors and especially the participants of the newsletter group.