Promoting sustainable outdoor sports education across Europe
The SEE Project aims to enhance the protection of natural landscapes through education in and through sport with special focus on responsible outdoor behaviour and skills development for outdoor sports leaders, trainers, guides, or instructors
The initial phase of the project- Work package one (WP1)– delved into the perceived issues of outdoor sports (OS) in protected and non-protected areas from the perspective of the land manager. The results were particularly relevant to mountain biking as MTB was identified as one the the main sports causing the most ‘perceived’ harm to the environment. The top three perceived threats from OS were disturbance of fauna, unleashed dogs and erosion. Within WP1 were four other reports, looking at the broader sustainability issues of outdoor sports, best (current) practices and leadership training by outdoor sports in terms of ENV education. The reports were used to gain a better understanding of the relationship between outdoor sports and nature, more specifically protected areas, and what level of training in environmental education is currently available and in practice, for different outdoor sports.
The next phase of the project – Work Package three (WP3)- involved project partners participating in several exchange meetings where knowledge of current best practice in environmental education was exchanged through various outdoor education activities. In total there were five meetings across Europe where partners were introduced to different sports, and methods in environmental education. This was an opportunity for partners to test different methods in teaching environmental education through a variety of OS activities. The knowledge gained from these meetings has assisted in the development of an educational toolbox for outdoor sport instructors to use in their future education. gm
As the project enters its final year, the next phase involves testing and evaluating the toolkit (WP2), and then towards the latter part of the year, the dissemination of the toolkit (WP4), in which IMBA Europe is the lead partner. We look forward to attending the next meeting in La Seu d’Urgell, Spain in early February where the drafted toolbox will be tested among a selection of different outdoor sports providers, including mountain biking. Our aim as an organisation is to implement the learned knowledge from this Erasmus project into the current European mountain bike guiding and instructor training, as well as adopting lessons learned into our own organisational strategy and working plan.
The tool box will be available for public use at the end of 2023.