Social inclusion, NA


Care for psychophysical health and suppressing stereotypes in the rural environment of Imotski that physical recreation is meant solely to maintain men´s looks, and that women do not belong in the gym


Who is behind this?

Marija Lozo Ujević

Fitness center TEMPO, Imotski



Idea pitch

“WORK(OUT)SIDE THE BOX“ wants to encourage discussion in the rural area of Imotski about physical exercise and suppress stareotypes existing due to the general view that workout exclusively serves as a way to maintain physical appearance and that gyms are places for men only. Our target group are people who avoid exercise, convinced that it is an activity suited for muscular men and that women or obese people should not go to gyms, yet rarely think about the effect on psychophysical health.

Where will your project idea take place?

The project will be conducted in the area of the city of Imotski, Split–Dalmatia County, Croatia.

What is the specific societal challenge faced by this region?

Imotski and its surroundings are rural areas with emphasized patriarchy and traditional values which the residents are not prone to questioning, nor is critical thinking about those predetermined rules well accepted. The pressure of such mentality leads to a society that rejects and marginalizes those that publically stand against the general opinion. Stereotypes and prejudice are consistent in all forms of socialization.
The project will attempt to diminish the prejudice about gyms being places only for“bodybuilders”. We will try to promote the view that gyms are meant for recreation, boosting social cohesion and that physical exercise does not only preserve an appealing physical appearance but also plays a significant role in overall health and psychological state of both men and women.

Who are you doing it for?

The target group is set on all interested residents of Imotski and its surrounding area aged 16-65 (over 15.000 people), no matter the sex, educational background or financial status. To be more accurate the target group will contain of typical representatives of the following groups: adolescents, college students, (un)employed people, pensioners, women of younger age (young parents), women aged 50+, people struggling with diseases, physically active and inactive people.
The discussions will invite experts to participate also: doctors, nutritionists, psychologists, social workers and public figures (actors, athletes…)
The project seeks to enhance participation of all mentioned subgroups in dialogues with the topic of physical activity and its positive effect on psychophysical health.

How do you plan to get there?

The project will be executed through the following steps:
-Forming a team responsible for the project and defining their roles and obligations
-Inviting target groups to participate using public calls
-Defining subgroups to ensure representation of typical profiles
-Including associates from specific areas
-Including local ORGs and ASSOCs
-Organization and realization of debates
-Organization and realization of round tables/educations
-Organization and realization of radio shows
-Scientific research and publication of results
-Visibility on social media, internet and other media
-Monitoring and reporting
-Evaluating project´s implementation.
For each of the steps of execution a suitable scientific or practical work methodology or to be more precise project management tools.

What are the expected results?

Imotski´s residents will acknowledge physical activity influences psychophysical health. Stereotypes saying the only goal of physical recreation is good looks and that gyms are suitable just for men will be removed. A healthy lifestyle, diet and physical activity will be adopted which will distance people from laziness, unhealthy food and consummation of alcohol/drugs. Regardless of the socio-economic status, women will turn to living healthier and the result will diminish the imposed stigma. Participants will learn effects of physical exercise on preventing diseases connected to lack of physical activity, stress will be reduced and positive psychological effects will emerge.
The society will surely be moved by the dialogue to accept democracy which will open a path to topics alike.

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

In accordance with strengthening and enhancing citizens´ engagement in dealing with stereotypes about gyms and the attitude that women have no place in gyms, we came up with activities which support active participation:
Act. 1. Participating in debates: for and against(3), Act. 2. Introducing and educating the “eternal opponents” about the benefits of physical exercise(4), Act. 3. Radio shows with guests and on-line debates(12), Act. 4. Studying the effect of the stereotypes in rural communities and presenting the results to the public(1), Act. 5. Visibility and PR activities.
Citizen´s engagement will encourage public discussions which will enable consideration of opposing views, active inclusion of the interested population and redefining the roles of women in traditional societies.

Why is this idea important to you?

The organization founder was an enthusiastic sport lover who passed away in May 2016, along with the organization´s secretary Natalija Kolbas. Robert desired to bring healthy habits and physical exercise closer to all residents of Imotski, and to keep young generations from behaving destructively and self-destructively. Based on his vision, we continued to develop projects that carry exceptional social importance for improving the community. Our biggest motivation in daily communication with young populations is to make them embrace useful, healthy habits and teach them how to think critically about everything they encounter. We aspire to attract women, which in these areas have little activities at disposal, in order to help them take care of their health and prevent diseases.

€ 52556,-

Total budget

€ 49929,-

Funding requested from Civic Europe

Major expenses

Employee salary – Project manager: 13.509,93 EUR
Employee salary – Activity coordinator: 11.920,53 EUR
Dialogue/debate organization: 1.986,75 EUR
Round tables/education organization: 2.649,01 EUR
Radio shows: 1.907,28 EUR
Fees for experts: 1.324,50 EUR
Research – fees: 4.635,76 EUR
Research – publication: 3.973,51 EUR
PR activities total: 3.331,26 EUR
Flyers, posters, invitations: 662,25 EUR
Other expenses: 662,25 EUR
Travel expenses: 3.973,51 EUR
Refreshment: 2.039,74 EUR

What do you need from the Civic Europe community?

We would appreciate hearing experience from other practitioners, working on projects with similar topics.


Marija Lozo Ujević

Anamarija Buljan


Ivana Matic

Idea created on May 27, 2020
Last edit on May 27, 2020

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