Sport has a strong educational value for young people and represents a valid way to promote the social inclusion and health of disadvantaged young people.

Statistical data on early school leaving in the Europe Union show how young men are more affected by this phenomenon than young women. This gender gap, although it has been reduced in recent years, is still present in almost all EU countries and highlights the need to develop specific initiatives for young men.

SSaMs – Training Sport Students as Mentors to Improve the Educational Attainment of Boys and Young Men project develops an approach in contrasting school dropout which combines sports, mentoring and attention to gender differences. This approach answers to the needs of a specific target of people: boys and young men with low educational attainment and at risk of school dropout.

Often mentors, coaches and staff working in non-formal educational settings and in community sports facilities have no specific skills in gender issues and in educational techniques for the development of young people emotional and social intelligence.

SSaMs’ project partners will develop an academic course addressed to sport students to provide them with needed skills to work with young men, support their mental and emotional health and improve their school performances. The course content will be based on existing training materials developed for sports coaches to mentor young males provided by Mengage, the UK not-for-profit company working to improve boys’ educational achievement.

The planned project activities will support:

  • the interaction between higher education institutions and local communities;
  • the integration between the local education system and informal education programs for young people and communities.

The main activities of the project include:

  • undertaking of a needs analysis on gender-oriented mentoring and early school leaving for the Sport HEIs of the six countries involved in the project;
  • developing and testing specific learning materials for sport students that will also improve their employability;
  • creating training materials for trainers to ensure a greater impact of the program.

SSaMs is a project financed by the Erasmus Plus Programme – Key Action 2 – Strategic Partnership in the field of Higher Education.

The official project kick off was held the 6th and 7th November 2017 and brought together 6 organisations:

For further information, contact: caterina.impastato@cesie.org.