Four dozen students from three European countries participated in a week-long intensive course (3–9 February 2020) which was held at the Faculty of Physical Culture. The course was focused on the possibilities of using sports and movement activities for further social and cultural development, and offered lectures and workshops led by experts not only from Palacký University Olomouc but also by specialists from Brazil and New Zealand.
The course is a part of the three-year Erasmus+ project Global Sport for Development and Peace Knowledge Collaborative, GloKnoCo for short, with the main investigators the UP Faculty of Physical Culture and the Department of Development and Environmental Studies of the UP Faculty of Science. Their partners in the project are the University of Brighton from the UK and Paderborn University from Germany, as well as several NGOs specialised in sport for development. The project aims to support and innovate teaching in sports and developmental fields of study, as well as extending and deepening international contacts, and bringing the academic world closer to what goes on in practice.
“We want to introduce the theoretical as well as practical side of sport for development to students from partner universities. That is why we have invited not only lecturers from various universities but also representatives of NGOs, which work on the ground and realise their activities in South America, Africa, or Asia. The students will familiarise themselves with the concept of sport for development and they will learn that sport is not only a physical activity but that it also has a social and cultural impact. Simultaneously, we will explore how to effectively prepare projects within this field. The results will be students’ own proposals for projects focused on specific issues. These will be presented during the final symposium in Berlin, which will take place in May,” said Arnošt Svoboda, from the Department of Social Sciences in Kinanthropology at the Faculty of Physical Culture.
Beside lecturers from Palacký University Olomouc, students will have the opportunity to also hear lectures from international experts such as Billy Graeff from the Brazilian Universidade Federal do Rio Grande, who specialises in mega sporting events and their impact on third world countries, or Robert Rinehart from the University of Waikato, New Zealand, a sociologist specialising in extreme sports. Other courses will take place during the next two years at universities in Brighton and Paderborn. In addition to the courses, an important part of the project is also research for which the project leaders will explore the approach of educational institutions to teaching subjects related to sport for development.
The GloKnoCo project resulted from a previous meeting of the lecturers during one of the annual week-long International Teaching Weeks, held at the Faculty of Physical Culture twice a year. “We were connected by our interest in the field of sport for development and so we decided to try and plan some collaboration. I would like to praise the work of my colleague Simona Šafaříková from the Department of Development and Environmental Studies, who is the main source of energy and has many contacts in the international sphere due to her various activities,” added Svoboda.
More information about the GloKnoCo project is available HERE.