AMELIA’s PILOT ACTION in Lousada, Portugal (Dia Municipal da Criança)

The Municipality of Lousada marked the Municipal Children’s Day, June 24, with several activities throughout the day and used this event to promote the AMELIA project.

  • Who were the organisers and co-organisers involved in the pilot action?
  • Municipality of Lousada
  • Lousada Mountain Bike Club
  • Lousada Século XXI
  • Group of teachers from the Curricular Enrichment classes (physical activity and sports, school cycling, chess, music, recreational-expressive activities and dramatic expression, Mandarin)
  • Child and Youth Protection Commission (CPCJ)
  • Lousada Centro School Group
  • Lousada East School Group
  • Lousada West School Group
  • Lousada North School Group
  • Portuguese Rugby Federation
  • AnimaSport
  • Oficina do Empenado
  • Vale do Sousa Conservatory
  • Lousada Animal Association
  • Lousada Volunteer Fire Brigade
  • Confucius Institute University of Minho
  • What are the general ideas and concepts standing behind your planned pilot actions?

As the movement is the new European Bauhaus, an interdisciplinary initiative between art, culture, social inclusion, science and technology, which seeks to provide meeting spaces for the design of future lifestyles, bringing us closer to the Ecological Pact and mobilizing a collective effort to imagine and build a sustainable future, the event selected in Lousada fits perfectly into this idea.

The Municipal Children’s Day is an annual event that aims to celebrate childhood, involving schools and curricular enrichment activities that are developed throughout the school year: physical and sporting activities, playful-expressive activities, music, chess, bio-school, among others. It is an event that involves thousands of participants, since it is aimed at all Primary and Pre-School children, from the 25 schools and 25 kindergartens in the municipality. In this event, demonstration workshops are held on the various areas worked on in schools throughout the year.

It is an excellent place to create connections that promote collaboration between thinkers and entrepreneurs interested in creating our future ways of living together and a bridge between the world of science and technology and the world of art and culture as opportunities to transform our lives for the better.

Bringing citizens, experts, companies and institutions together and promoting conversations about how to make tomorrow’s living spaces more affordable and accessible.

The Municipality of Lousada is a partner with long experience in sports projects and programmes aimed at promoting the health and well-being of citizens. As a pilot action considered to be of great importance from the perspective of the development of the Transnational Movement, the event seeks to include people from different age groups, social and economic classes, genders, but also different organisations with an active role in society, such as schools, sports associations, parents’ associations, cultural and recreational organisations, among other social, educational/training and sporting organisations.to think about and collaborate in identifying tactical, inclusive urban planning solutions adapted to the practice of sport by citizens in Lousada.

In this way, by including this action in one of the activities with the greatest involvement, the Municipal Children’s Day, we wanted to take advantage of this event, which in itself already mobilises thousands of participants, and use it to wider promote the AMELIA project and the Transnational Movement.

The activities promoted during the event seek to emphasise the value that sport has in promoting the quality of life of the population, particularly young people, and access for all, regardless of their physical, social or economic condition. Teachers from curriculum enrichment activities, who collaborate with the municipality, provided support in the development of the activities, as well as sports clubs.

With regard to the venue selected, the Largo da Feira, an open-air area that serves as a venue for the municipality’s monthly fairs and also as a car park, is a large place with trees that, in itself, is nothing like a suitable place for sports. However, given the scope of this project, we wanted to show that all it takes is imagination and creativity to turn an ordinary space into a great place to exercise.

  • What activities were implemented?

This event was promoted by the Town Hall in partnership with the Commission for the Protection of Children and Young People (CPCJ) of Lousada, aiming at the permanent creation of a community that values the rights and time of children and their families, in a festive atmosphere.

This party also intended to mark the end of the school year regarding the Curricular Enrichment Activities (AEC) promoted in schools by the municipality.

Thus, during the morning, parents and children had two options to have fun. On one hand, they were invited to take their bikes and participate in a ride organized by Lousada BTT or go to the outdoor swimming pool of the Municipal Swimming Pools, free of charge. Here the offer is valid for one child and one adult.

The afternoon was spent at the Largo da Feira, from 2 p.m., where workshops organized by the AEC and Mandarin teachers took place. The young ones had the opportunity to participate in activities such as face painting, puppet making, inflatables, Chinese knot, paper cutting, playing chess, riding a bike and go-karts and playing on inflatables.

The activities were organised with the collaboration and support of the primary school curriculum enrichment teachers and local sports clubs. We met with them in good time to let them to know the date, time and venue and to find out what logistics were needed to organise the activities they chose.

PROGRAMME

Morning

– Parents and Children Bike Ride, organised by Clube Lousada BTT

– Swimming pool, organised by Lousada Sec. XXI

Afternoon

-AECS workshops

– Mandarin

– Face painting

-Puppet making

-Inflatables

Chinese knot-tying

-Paper cutting

-Chess

-Bicycle

-Karts

-Musical performances with the 1st cycle students

– Musical «Tuishi Pamoja», presented by the Vale do Sousa Conservatory

  • What were the main results and  outcomes of the pilot action?

Active members of our local community, such as associations and groups of teachers, with enormous potential for change, revealed their positive feedback regarding the New European Bauhaus movement and its impact in our community.

It was also possible to collect some opinions of some parents regarding the importance of this project. One mother indicated that «Never before have European projects addressed the importance of empowering spaces to be more sustainable and important for physical activity». Another parent also revealed that «I hope that with the AMELIA project, the Municipality of Lousada will seek to further promote the practice of physical activity without forgetting the role that sustainability has nowadays.”.

Our recommendations for those looking to hold events aimed at transforming spaces is to look for unusual venues so that the community gains awareness that any space, if thought out creatively, allows it to do much more than for the simple utility it was designed for. Also to involve a large number of local organization’s and the community itself so that they also feel an integral part of these actions. Another very important factor is to invite local authorities and governments to think more actively about these solutions.

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