PsyTool is led by the Universidad Pablo de Olavide (Sevilla, Spain) and brings together 13 partners from all across Europe to explore the use of sport psychology as a tool to promote the positive development of young people through sport and educate and protect them against the dangers of racism, violence, doping, match-fixing and any other type of abuse and discrimination
The beautiful city of Lisbon (Portugal) offered a fitting backdrop for the 2nd Coordination Meeting of Project Psytool. Our Portuguese partners, Sporting Clube de Portugal, Sport Foundation – Portugal and the Faculty of Human Kinetics of the New University of Lisbon did a delightful job in welcoming the project coordination group to Portugal for a series of very important meetings as the project continues to take shape and grow.
The two-day meeting was kick-started by a press conference at Sporting’s famous stadium José Alvalade. SCP’s Vice-president, Carlos Vieira said ‘Sporting is very happy to be part of this project. Here, we believe that every child that likes to play football but won’t be Cristiano Ronaldo, still has a chance to do well in life. Sport is a great tool to promote personal development’. PsyTool Coordinator, Professor José Carlos Jaenes, thanked SCP and emphasized ‘the great responsibility we all have to ensure that sport is a positive experience for young people and that it can deliver on the promise of supporting kids’ personal development as contributing members of society’.
During lunch, the group were very pleasantly surprised by two very special guests. First, legendary Portuguese marathon runner, Carlos Lopes, paid us visit and showed a great interest in the project. Shortly after, SCP’s president, Bruno de Carvalho greeted the group and re-emphasised Sporting’s commitment to the development of young people through sport and stated: ‘this is as important for us as winning trophies’.
The first day of the meetings was spent discussing the implementation and evaluation phases of the project and shaping up the framework of 10 lessons which will comprise the training of ‘Agents of Change’. These Agents of Change will then work directly with children and young people to facilitate their maximizing of the potential benefits of sport participation.
The second day of meetings saw the group travel to the SCP Football Academy in Alcochete. In the outstanding facilities the academy has to offer, PsyTool found the time, space and inspiration to continue working on the development of the project. All partners left the meeting with clarity as to the next steps and a large amount of enthusiasm to continue to drive the project forward. Partners will liaise with the various work package coordinators to ensure that all actions are completed and that at the next meeting in early 2017 in Halmstad University (Sweden) PsyTool is a bit closer to making a step change to the way young people experience sport.