The SSaMs project has an aim of improving boys and young men’s educational attainment and preventing early school leaving via an innovative approach which mixes gender-sensitive mentoring and sports. The six SSaMs project partners involved in the project are collaborating to develop a Higher Education Institute course for sports students.  This course is meant to provide future professionals with the necessary skills to work with boys and young men, to support their mental and emotional health, and to motivate them to remain in education. The course content will be based on existing training materials developed for sports coaches to mentor young males provided by Mengage, the UK not-for-profit company working to improve boys’ educational achievement.


  • To enhance knowledge and skills of undergraduate sports students to enable them to provide mentoring support for boys and young men who are underachieving at school;
  • To assist in reducing Early School Leaving (ESL) amongst boys and young men;
  • To support the engagement of HEIs with local communities and further integrate with local education and informal youth and community education schemes;
  • To provide a foundation for further work with boys and young men and complement existing academic work among HEIs partners.


  • Development of a needs analysis on gendered mentoring and work on ESL addressed to HEIs offering degrees within Faculties of Sport and Exercise;
  • Elaboration, piloting and evaluation of gender specific SSaMs Learning Material to inform sport students how to mentor young men and provide gender sensitive support on ESL;
  • Creation of the SSaMs Train the Trainer Materials;
  • Development of the SSaMs Project and Pilot Evaluation Report.


  • Increased skills and knowledge (and employability) of undergraduate sport students trained in gender-sensitive mentoring;
  • Increased understanding of ESL and practical, gender sensitive mentoring work with boys and young men and new training resources to teach sports students made available;
  • Strengthen the link between the project HEI/NGO with local organisations, schools and the local community in each country;
  • Increased awareness of national and international HEIs, stakeholders, policy makers of SSaMs aims and potential in assisting in reducing rates of ESL.

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