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“Sport and Mental Health: Don’t bury your emotions let it flow” SPORTY MENTAL, YE in Cyprus/13.10-24.10.2024

Updated: May 7

Project Name: “Sport and Mental Health: Don’t bury your emotions let it flow” SPORTY MENTAL

Agreement No: 2023-3-CY02-KA152-YOU-000172949

Duration: From 1/03/2024 till 31/01/2025 (11 months)

Activity: Youth Exchange in Cyprus for 60 participants and 12 leaders + 2 stakeholders at Hylatio Tourist Village in Pissouri for learning how to improve your mental health through sports and healthy lifestyle. www.hylatio.com.cy 

Activity dates: 13 to 24 of October 2024 (12 days, including traveling dates)

Age for participants:  15 - 19 years old


Travelling food and accommodation all are paid from the program

10 teenagers (ages 16 to 19) and 2 leaders will be selected from our organisation.


Main Idea of the Project:

The main goal of the Youth Exchange Project “Sport and Mental Health: Don’t bury your emotions let it flow” focuses on young people’s mental health through sport and creates a supportive environment where participants can engage in physical activity while dealing with mental health issues.

The main aim of a youth exchange project is to promote young people’s mental health through sports, a supportive environment and physical activities that help them express and build stronger connections with themselves and improve their overall well-being. The project aims to raise awareness of mental health issues, demonstrate the impact of active work on young people, and inspire compassion for the mental health issues of others. In addition, the project provides opportunities for diverse learning and collaboration and encourages creativity and self-expression through a variety of exercises, including practical skills such as meditation, yoga, golf, journal writing and group activities.

The Youth Exchange Project aims to equip participants with the skills and information they need to create positive change in their own networks, promote healthy lifestyles and motivate others to do the same. By working together and benefiting from each other’s encounters and perspectives, participants develop a deeper understanding of the issues surrounding mental health awareness and physical activity. 

Teen Sports and Mental Health

Teen sports can have a significant positive impact on teen well-being. Not only do sports reduce stress, they also give teens ways to bond and practice collaboration, while reaping the physical and mental health benefits of exercising.

Elite athletes often tell personal stories of how high-level competition led to eating disorders or other mental health conditions. However, for high school student athletes and for college athletes, teen sports can boost self-esteem, build teamwork skills, and help teens and young adults build a close community of peers and supportive adults.

 

10 Scientifically Validated Mental Benefits of Sports

Scientists have been exploring the link between exercise and mood for more than 100 years. As a result, they have produced a large body of research on physical activity and mental health, including the link between sports and mental health. Both biological and psychological factors come into play.

Here are 10 mental benefits of sports validated by research:

  1. Exercise positively impacts levels of serotonin, a chemical that helps regulate mental health, and stimulates the neurotransmitter norepinephrine, which improves mood.

  2. Physical activity releases endorphins, the body’s natural “happy chemicals,” and reduces levels of the stress hormone cortisol.

  3. Sports are associated with lower rates of stress, anxiety, depression, and suicidal behavior.

  4. Participation in team sports reduces the risk of teen substance abuse and other reckless behaviors.

  5. Team sports enhance resilience, empathy, confidence and empowerment.

  6. They have also been shown to increase executive functioning, creativity, cognitive development, and self-regulation.

  7. Improved teamwork and social responsibility are additional benefits of team sports for mental health.

  8. The more time spent being physically active, the less time a teen spends on social media, which is proven to lower adolescent well-being.

  9. Teen sports, as well as other outdoor activities, get teens outside so they can experience the benefits of time in nature.

  10. Sleep improves when teens are physically active—which is important because sleep is essential for maintaining mental health.

In fact, research shows that sports and other types of physical activity can be equally as effective as medication in improving teen mental health and happiness levels—while boosting physical health.



The Project specific objectives are:

The Specific objectives of this Erasmus+ Youth Exchange project on mental health, healthy youth and practical skills learning are in line with the objectives of the Erasmus+ program, which aims to promote intercultural learning, personal development and social inclusion of young people as well as mental health awareness.

●      Raise  awareness of young people’s mental health and its impact on their lives. Promote sports as a healthier way of life.

●      Develop practical skills related to various breathing techniques and sports        that can help reduce stress and anxiety..

●      Promote intercultural learning and social engagement among participants,           fostering their ability to reduce stress and lead an active lifestyle.

●      Promote active citizenship and social engagement among participants, fostering their ability to reduce stress and lead an active lifestyle.

●      Promote social inclusion and equal opportunities for all participants, including those who are less social.        

●      Foster a sense of community and connection among participants, promoting social and emotional well-being.         

●      Provide opportunities for personal and professional development, including improving mental health, team communication and cross-cultural competence.

●      Create a safe and supportive space for each participant that promotes learning and personal development.     

●      Make  art exhibition/ fashion event done totally from reused clothes to promote sustainable fashion and encourage young people to use their creativity. Prepare to create a short video as part of the dissemination process.       

●      Create an environment where young people can learn to cope with stressful situations and activities that alleviate mental illness.

 


Project activities will involve:

●        Get to know each other: Activities that will support participants to get to know each other, explore the cross-cultural group, and feel comfortable to enjoy the rest of the project.

●        Secret Friend: This activity is beneficial for the target group who may have little experience living and functioning in a positive environment. This is a great opportunity to help young people learn to give back to make others feel good.     

●        Local Visit: Visit to the Golf Course. Golf builds self-confidence and patience. By keeping the brain active and in “thinking” mode," participants focus more on the game and less on the things they think of.

●        Local visit: Animal shelter. Animals provide the kind of relationship that       can help participants develop social skills and are a great source of comfort and motivation.

●        Group discussion: About mental health, exercise, positive thinking, active      lifestyle and more.

●        Journal writing: By embracing the power of journaling, participants can strengthen their resilience, promote           self-discovery, and improve their overall mental well-being.

●        Team-building activities: The goal is to create a positive and good working    environment by encouraging interaction among participants and strengthening relationships between them

●        Art therapy: Participants can develop their creativity, promote self-discovery and emotional stability.

●        Meditation     and breathing exercises: Promote relaxation and stress reduction, improve concentration.

Methods used: Icebreakers and energizers, brainstorming and discussions, skill-building workshops and sports activities, cultural exchanges, team-building activities, local visit, reflection groups, journaling, presentations, and more. The main aim is to focus on "practice makes perfect ''.



Aplication for Interest of Participation: https://forms.gle/yKuAyfCbQmnsmQzB9





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