By Bruno Hasa, YES Albania ’13
My experience in the US taught me the importance of sports and how much they were appreciated not only as a fun way to spend time, but also as a learning experience. When I came back to Albania I realized that our education system doesn’t give to sports their rightful importance. Gym class in Albania is usually underestimated and even skipped. Therefore I decided to do a project to emphasize the importance of sports in our schools at my old middle school- Rilindja School- here in Gramsh, Albania.
The main idea for the project was about a mini- championship in football, basketball and volleyball. To make this project even more engaging I decided to also make the gym area an “art area” where the students of the school would first volunteer to paint the walls white and after express their talent by drawing different pictures sport related on the walls. And after the gym area was turned into a more enjoyable environment and we would have purchased the necessary materials the mini-championships would take place and some awards were thought to be given to the winners.
To begin the project, we bought all the materials and painted the gym between May 15th-25th We first painted the walls white and then made paintings on them. It was amazing how many students were interested and participated only in this first part of the project. While this process was going on it was made sure all the other items needed for the project were purchased. This first part took a week and was fun and productive. I was amazed how the gym area totally changed and what great of a job the volunteers had done. But even a more fun part was about to come, the mini-championships. From June 1st, the 6th, 7th, 8th and 9th grade classes were competing in football basketball and volleyball. There were no losers, only winners. The winners though received a big framed picture of their team and also certificate to recognize their accomplishment. To make the project long lasting some of the best pictures of the project were selected and printed to create a hard copy of how the project developed.
This project was the first project for me that was funded by YES (Youth Exchange & Study). It resulted in a total success because the project fulfilled the goals in base of which was created. There were about 20 students volunteers from the school, the art teacher helped paint the walls, and there were two gym teachers that helped to referee the games of the tournament. The Sports in School Project created a very good material base for gym class and taught to the students of the school where the project took place important values such as: group work, the importance of volunteering and most importantly the benefits of sports.