"It’s all about the game" was held in Paphos (Cyprus) from February 22nd to March 2nd.
During the 10-day experience, 52 youngsters from Cyprus, Serbia, Croatia, Lithuania, Italy, Greece and Poland worked on the common theme Sport and Hooliganism through non-formal education methods.
The aim was to promote values, sport ideals and healthy practices among young people, discussing with young people from different countries, sharing experiences and knowledge related to different national sports, discovering new cultures, increasing awareness and exchange of opinions on violence among fans and strengthening ideals related to active citizenship, socialization and volunteering.
The participants had the opportunity to explore Cyprus, in particular, they had the chance to visit the City of Paphos and the necropolis "Tomb of the Kings", the city of Limassol and the amphitheatre of Curium, the city of Nicosia and the university library "UNIC library".
The boys also tried various physical activities and played various sports, such as treasure hunt, trekking, basketball tournament, yoga on the beach, swimming in the sea and in the pool.
The cultural exchange between the boys was also possible thanks to "intercultural nights". Intercultural night is an activity in which the participants present their country, their city, their traditions, but it is also a way to taste different local flavours and to have more information about places and cities, customs, music and folk dances.
During the international exchange, in the Youth Center di Κέντρα, participants attended a presentation about Erasmus+ opportunities, the Cyprus Youth board and the European Youthpass certificate, which attests participation in the Exchange and highlights the skills developed through the activities carried out.
For those who are still undecided about the idea of taking part in a Youth Exchange experience, here are the words of the participants who recently returned from Cyprus.
Giovanni: "I spent 10 days in Cyprus for the project "it’s all about the game" and what can I say except that it was the best experience of my life: I had the opportunity to meet people from 7 different European countries and we worked together on a project. It was great to see our ideas take shape, confronting each other and having the opportunity to express ourselves in English and in our mother tongue.
Day by day I got to know new words in different languages, I started listening to the music of the other guys participating in the project, at the end of the project, I had the feeling of being completely immersed in the different cultures. This happened thanks to the time spent carrying out activities that surely served us on a social level: because besides improving my language skills in English and visiting a wonderful place, in my heart will remain the relationships I created, the friendships I now have around Europe thanks to this project.
I definitely invite everyone to do this experience, because in addition to growing mentally, it guarantees personal growth and awareness, both in terms of individual skills and in terms of relationships with other people."
Denise: "For me this exchange was a challenge: I had to put aside all my fears in order to discover new cultures and it was the best choice I could make. When I realized that no one was there to judge me I opened up.
I started talking to other kids, discovering traditions and anecdotes related to different countries, I made friends and had amazing experiences.
Participating in this exchange was eye-opening and left me with many memories, I am thankful I participated and I highly recommend everyone to take part in similar projects."
Viola: "It’s all about the game", a fantastic experience.
Since the first day we have done activities to integrate better and we immediately started spending all the time with other people from different countries.
All the kids who joined the project were motivated by the same desire to learn about new cultures and make new friends.
I recommend anyone to participate in Erasmus plus projects because they are moments of growth, where you learn English and have fun with new friends."
Matilde: "I never expected to participate in an intercultural exchange, but the night before departure I found myself packing my suitcase without knowing what I was going to do.
It was a wonderful experience, full of emotions both good and bad, many tears but also many laughs.
Meeting people of other nationalities is fantastic, you get to know new cultures, you realize that Italy is very fortunate in the area of cuisine…..jokes aside, you meet wonderful people, and even if you don’t know them they are ready to help you and make you smile and you spontaneously do the same with them because you feel welcomed.
I understood from this trip that you have to throw yourself into doing things, without thinking too much about it.
I didn’t know English and I still don’t, but at the moment you make up a sentence and you get by, the most that happens is that you have a laugh.
It’s an experience I would recommend to everyone because it makes you grow and think a lot."
Antony: "It’s all about the game", the best experience I’ve ever had in my life.
10 days spent with new people with different origins and cultures but with something in common, the desire to have fun.
Unexpectedly, since the beginning we have bonded with our roommates and with all the others through educational and funny activities and games.
If you have the opportunity to be part of a similar project, do it, you only have to gain."
Teodor: "The Erasmus+ project is a project that, in my opinion, in addition to educating the person in the linguistic field, allows an exponential growth of the person itself, allows you to deal with individuals from other countries, with other cultures, with other lifestyles and really teaches the concept of diversity and beauty that nowadays is difficult to find and understand remaining only in your country of origin. It’s a project that allows you to make friends with people you wouldn’t otherwise have the chance to meet and allows you to learn while having fun, which I think is the best way to grow. I recommend anyone, regardless of age, to participate in Erasmus projects, because after the first experience you will want to do it again. These are experiences that each of you will carry for the rest of your life and that will help you on many occasions. One last piece of advice I give is not to be afraid of being far from home or not knowing anyone because this is a good opportunity to strengthen your personality and discover new things, putting aside shyness and fear and replacing them with curiosity and a desire to learn, perhaps even discovering new musical, cultural or culinary tastes. I personally loved spending time with my peers in another reality, different from the daily one and I hope that with this writing of my thoughts I have minimally convinced you, so the only thing I can tell you is Carpe Diem and have fun."