Health, Social inclusion

My grandparents and I

»Sporting activity is an excellent platform for communication between generations and should be used as often as possible for the benefit of society.« Mamcarczyk, M., & Poplawski, L.


Who is behind this?

Jasna Zavodnik

Sports Club Bleščica


Who is joining forces?

Rhythmic Gymnastics Association Bleščica


We chose Rhythmic Gymnastics Association Bleščica as our partner because together we have a very large base of students and cover several local communities.


Idea pitch

We created an intergenerational program called My grandparents and I that will allow us to connect our students with their grandparents and other senior citizens in their local communities. We will encourage our students to motivate their grandparents to exercise and encourage grandparents to teach our students the benefits of sport. This way, we would contribute to the physical and psychosocial development of all participants and strengthen the local communities.

Where will your project idea take place?

Ljubljana, Central Slovenia; Domžale, Central Slovenia

What is the specific societal challenge faced by this region?

The epidemic in Slovenia severely impaired the social inclusion and health of the elderly and the youth and damaged their intergenerational trust. Some of the implemented measures that caused this were restricting socialising to members of the same household, closing municipal and regional borders, and halting organised sports. The elderly felt isolated because of computer illiteracy. On the other hand, young people spent almost half a year behind computers (due to distance learning). According to the results of Sports Educational Charts and data analysis, we can speak of the worst crisis of physical and motor development of children in Slovenia of all time. The My grandparents and I project is a unique opportunity to improve the social connection between the generations and their health.

Who are you doing it for?

We want to encourage intergenerational contact zones for senior citizens and children. This way, we can promote active ageing for older adults and healthy development in children. In intergenerational contexts, the role of older adults is promoting important values. In our project, older adults will promote sport as a means of building friendships, self-confidence, creativity, discipline and healthy habits. The absence of modern technology in their childhood meant that sports usually represented most of their leisure activities. Children, on the other hand, can provide companionship and motivation for physical activity to the seniors. Numerous examples of school-nursing home partnerships have shown the positive effects of this kind of interaction.

How do you plan to get there?

The My grandparents and I program will enrich our beginning recreational rhythmic gymnastics program, intended for all girls in elementary schools and kindergartens. We will implement the program at 10 schools and kindergartens in Slovenia. It will comprise of one training per month - 3 trainings per trimester (Oct.–Dec.) – 9 trainings throughout the school year (Oct.–Dec., Jan.-Mar., Apr.–Jun.) – 90 hours in total. Each trimester will end with a social event to show the intergenerational activities, socialise, and strengthen the local communities. At least two teachers will be present at the My grandparents and I training. They will take care of the correct execution of all exercises and the quality of the program. We will invite our students' grandparents, other seniors from the local communities (our students' neighbours), and the elderly from nearby nursing homes.
The work plan is based on pair and group work. It contains simple gymnastic skills, dance, music, simple choreography, balance, coordination and motor skills exercises, collaboration with apparatuses, simple polygons for pairs, relay games, and more. If possible, we will move the training outdoors. Due to our broad base of girls, we have a unique opportunity for beautiful intergenerational cooperation within individual local communities. In the event of a continued epidemic, we will move the program online.

What are the expected results?

Social networks usually diminish with age which often results in loneliness and inactivity. Social interaction is a powerful way to maintain the physical and psychological wellbeing of the older generations, and many studies have found that sport is a helpful tool for achieving this. Older adults play a significant role in our society, but younger generations often overlook their contributions and needs due to false beliefs about their capabilities. With this intergenerational approach, we hope to challenge the stereotypes about ageing while encouraging both the young and the elderly to engage in physical activity and maintain social interactions. The elderly promote important values that allow the younger generations to ground themselves in their culture and prepare for independent life.

How does your idea strengthen active citizenship at a local and community level?

Schools are some of the most important public spaces. They are accessible institutions that regularly bring the local community together. In many local communities, school buildings are central social hubs with various activities and events. They must offer diverse activities where many different groups get the opportunity to pursue their interests. This diversity is often neglected when it comes to sporting activities. Rhythmic gymnastics provides a rare option for those who want to partake in physical activity with an emphasis on elegance, musicality and femininity. It's also a great sport to utilise in the intergenerational context because it can be individualised according to somebody's physical abilities (reflex and mobility training, work with the apparatuses, dance).

Why is this idea important to you?

The project team consist of 4 full-time employees and 7 part-time coaches who created the idea. There are 26 more part-time coaches and 10 assistants from different local communities who will help us bring it to life. All coaches are licenced and well experienced in our work. In almost 20 years, we have created strong bonds with the school staff, the civil servants of the municipal administrations, and our participants. We undoubtedly have a major impact on our communities. We encourage our older students from the local communities to join our team.
This project is important to us because it pursues our goals: sport for all, lifelong training, a healthy lifestyle, social inclusion, a positive local impact; and because it develops our work and opens us up to a new field of action.

€ 35000,-

Total budget

€ 35000,-

Funding requested from Civic Europe

Major expenses

Project team and management: 16.300
Visibility and publicity: 2.500
Training equipment: 4.000
Office expenses: 500
Costs for trainings and events: 11.700
Total: 35.000

What do you need from the Civic Europe community?

All and any of your opinion, advice, feedback and idea on our project are welcome. In what direction can we develop the project to make it even more interesting for the participants, partners and investors?


Športni klub Bleščica



Idea created on April 23, 2021

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