Too cool for school? SSaMs helps keep boys at school through mentoring and sports

Sports organizations, sports students and coaches play an important role in providing support to young people for health problems and education. SSaMs partners are developing learning materials to prepare sports students in providing support to young men and boys to keep them at school.

During the pre-pilot meeting of the SSaMs project, which took place on the 26th and 27th of November 2018 at the Institute of Technology in Carlow, Ireland, the topics of discussion were the finalization of learning materials, the planning of piloting activities in each project country and the agreement on piloting procedures. The piloting activities will lead to the modification and improvement of the materials and their publication.

The creation of teaching materials has been supported in recent months by a needs-based analysis of a survey to which 168 sports science students responded to higher education institutions in five European countries.

The survey gathered students’ answers about their previous experience in assisting young people with their education or on what personal skills and attributes are needed to work with boys and young men.

Some of the interviewed students have already had experience in supporting young people: “I worked as a social educator in an external class project and in the road education project” reported a student from the University of Murcia in Spain. Other students have supported boys in sports clubs and in informal situations to increase their psychophysical balance and improving school performance. Others intervened to support the young victims of bullying.

Students were also asked to share their mentoring idea and the skills required to be a good mentor: “A tutor provides emotional and mental support and guides young people to stay in education and improve their schooling”, a student at the University of Thessaly, Greece.

Which support students should be able to work with young males?

A significant concern is having a “go to” person to provide support, discuss concerns and for further information, as well as attending seminars and workshops.

These are some of the topics covered by the survey, the SSaM partners decided to present a summary of the need analysis to the students in the form of infographics to facilitate its understanding.

If you want to read what are the sports students’ ideas about being a mentor for young people see THE REPORT ON THE QUESTIONNAIRE OF STAKEHOLDER STUDENTS.