Youth in Action: Larnaca hosts ENGSO Youth international training course

From 8 to 12 May, Larnaca, Cyprus, hosted the international training course "Youth in Action", organised by ENGSO Youth. The event brought together 25 young representatives, including Matilda Tommasi, President of Panathlon Club Junior Trieste Muggia, representing Panathlon International. The initiative, supported by the Council of Europe through the European Youth Foundation, aimed at promoting meaningful and effective youth participation in sports organisations.

ENGSO Youth: A Movement for Youth in Sport

ENGSO Youth, established in 2002 as an independent youth arm of the European Sports NGO (ENGSO), brings together young sports leaders under the age of 35 from over 30 countries, giving a voice to the youth sports sector across Europe. This coalition aims to bridge the gap between youth participation in the fields of youth and sport, which is essential for the formation of democratic and inclusive societies.

An Event Rich in Content and Perspectives

During the event, participants discussed sports governance and mechanisms to facilitate greater youth inclusion. Among the keynote speeches, Cristiana Xenofontos, Vice-President of the European Youth Forum, and Christina Yiannapi, Secretary General of the Cyprus Youth Council, emphasised the motto 'Youthless policy is a useless policy', describing the work of the European Youth Forum and the Council of Europe in promoting youth rights.

Day two saw a focus on human rights and good sports governance, with participants sharing their experiences, enriching the debate with different perspectives. Day three was dedicated to advocacy, with discussions on effective tools and strategies. Participants also visited Nicosia to meet Stephanie from United Sports Cyprus, an organisation that uses sport to unite diverse communities and promote dialogue and peace.

Strategies and Mechanisms for Youth Participation

The last day was dedicated to creating strategies to improve youth participation in sports organisations. The participants, divided into groups, developed proposals for new mechanisms for youth inclusion at various levels and presented them in the final session of the event.

Matilda Tommasi expressed her gratitude for the opportunity to represent Panathlon International, underlining the importance of the experiences shared during the event: "It was a privilege for me to represent Panathlon International as President of Panathlon Junior Club Trieste Muggia, combining my experience as an athlete with an active role in youth advocacy. Thanks to the inspiring experiences shared by the participants, I widened my knowledge about sports organisations, from the local to the international dimension. These days have enriched me enormously. I am grateful to have had the opportunity to contribute to the debate on improving youth participation in decision-making and the rights of emerging athletes.

I am ready to share my experience with the young members of Club Trieste Muggia and Panathlon International, and to take forward the ideas formulated during the event also in the Panathlon Club Junior Trieste Muggia."

The 'Youth in Action' event represented a significant step towards greater youth inclusion and participation in the European sporting world, tracing the way for future initiatives and collaborations.





Panathlon International

Fondazione D.Chiesa