SSaMs: university module to support the psychophysical well-being of young people

SSaMs develops a university module that provides sports students with practical skills in mentoring with boys and young men. These are skills that can be applied in sports and school contexts with the aim of assisting children in their educational and training choices and preventing early school leaving.

This programme is the result of increasing interest in work on gender issues and work with boys and men, including male health and its links to boys’ educational attainment and early school leaving. 

Why working with boys and young men is important?

Across the EU boys have lower rates of educational attainment than girls, are much more likely to leave school earlier. Some European countries enacted policy or strategies that include work with males. In 2008 the Republic of Ireland became the first country in the world to implement a national men’s health policy, a commitment that extends to 2021. In 2018 the World Health Organization European Region launched a strategy on the health and wellbeing of European men, with a commitment to engage with males via gender-sensitive services.

SSaMs partners believes that a gender specific approach to support boys is needed and therefore, through a joint effort, the six universities partners (University of Gloucestershire, Institute of Technology Carlow, University of Thessaly, Palacký University, University of Murcia and CESIE) are completing the SSaMs learning and training gender-sensitive resources. These will:

  • enhance the knowledge of undergraduate sports students with regard to working with young males; and
  • enable sport students to provide mentoring support in future vocational settings involving work with young males to motivate them to stay at school.

During the final meeting of the SSaMs project, which was hosted by CESIE in Palermo, the 3rd and 4th of September 2019, the project partners discussed the final steps of the project that will ensure the full experience and knowledge transfer, which included also the organisation of the public presentation of the SSaMs Learning Materials and Train the Trainer Materials.

In November and December, the project partners will organise Launch Events to present to their national audience of academic staff and students, professionals in the education and sports sector, mentors and policy makers the learning and training resources and the pilot experiences realised in each project country.

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