In the framework of the Sport4All project financed by the European Union Office in Kosovo and supported by the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sport, PL4Y International organized the Sport4All Launch Seminar on the 11th of February at AFA Hotel. The overall goal of the seminar was to raise awareness about the importance of developing inclusive sport activities in Kosovo.
We were pleased to welcome 116 participants, among which representatives from 4 Ministries, representatives from the EU office in Kosovo, the OSCE, the Council of Europe and the Netherlands embassy. We were also pleased to have representatives from the Sport Faculty, from 2 Sport Federations, and from three municipalities (Pristina, Peja and Gracanica). Finally, 91 representatives from different NGOs and Sport clubs were present on the event.
PL4Y International was very pleased to welcome Iber Alaj, Head of the Sport Department of the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sport, Dario Di Benedetto, Task Manager in Social Development at the Coops Section of the EU Office in Kosovo, and Vjosa Maqedonci-Osmani, female Karateka, for the opening speech.
The Seminar was a good opportunity to present the key achievements of the Sport4All project in 2015, reward the three sub-granted NGOs from 2015, present the activities planned in 2016 and to launch the 2016 Call for Proposals (PowerPoint available here). In the afternoon, participants had the choice between three sessions on each of the priority themes (PowerPoint presentations of the three sessions are available here): Communities, Disabilities and Re-socialization. The seminar ended with a networking coffee during which participants could exchange between each other and see a sport session using some inclusive games.
During the Opening ceremony, M. Alaj from the Sport Department said that sport represents a cultural and national value for Kosovo: “It is of special interest for Kosovo people and our country as a whole.” He made a special mention to PI for promoting “Sport for All” and creating the environment to achieve integration of women and girls, of various communities and people with disabilities into Kosovo society. M. Di Benedetto reminded the audience that the European Union acknowledges sport as a powerful tool to promote human right, democracy and anti-discrimination and that the Sport4All project, among others, contributes to fostering tolerance in Kosovo society. Finally the last speech was given to Vjosa Maqedonci-Osmani, a karateka, wife and mother of three children, to put the emphasis on the importance of sport for women and girls: “I faced gender discrimination in sports in my personal experience (…). However, I remained in the sport environment and I believe I managed to demonstrate to those people that it is possible and that they were wrong. (…) Thanks to sport, I am more self-confident and I am more demanding towards myself. That’s why I encourage everybody (especially youth) to do sport.”
PL4Y International would like to thank all participants for their interest and support.