Project team meeting M2 Idrija

The M2 project team meeting was held on April 12 and 13, 2023 in Idrija, Slovenia, in accordance with the scheduled agenda. The meeting was attended by 17 persons – representatives of all project partners and external experts.

The following topics were discussed during the meeting:

Defining the most suitable activities for the promotion of outdoor activities, trail running and responsible behaviors towards the natural environment – focus was placed on the final definition of the content and providing final inputs for the development of the project website and project brochures. 

Eco trail event concept is developed – Eco trail event will be related to existing races organized by project partners:

– 19-20.08.2023. Hg Idrija Ultra Trail, Slovenia
– 25-26 May 2024. Ohrid Ultra Trail, North Macedonia
– 06-07.07.2024. Tara Ultra Trail, Serbia

Special emphasis will be placed on races for young people adapted to different age categories. The event will consist of the race itself, but in addition, eco workshops for children will be organized. Given that all races are related to protected areas, educational activities will be carried out by employees in these protected areas:

– UNESCO GEOPARK Idrija, Slovenia
– Galicica National Park, North Macedonia
– Tara National Park, Serbia.

Defining proposals for educational activities for young people in the field of environmental protection – Outdoor sports, and therefore trail running, take place in nature, and very often these areas are protected areas. Bearing in mind the presence of protected areas in the area where the project is implemented, it is necessary to use the existing educational programs and tools that the managers of these areas already apply in working with children. A practical presentation of the educational activities will be presented at the M3 meeting in Serbia.

The date (July 1-04, 2023) and the tentative agenda for the M3 meeting and training in Serbia have been agreed. Also, the Project team defined the methodology that will be used in the selection of candidates for educational training (M3). 

The most interesting part of the meeting was related to the presentation of experiences from Slovenia in the field of working with children in outdoor sports.

Nina Frelih and Jan Božič presented the concept of developing healthy habits and sports orientation within the family itself. Both are trail runners, and Jan is one of the best Slovenian ultra trail runners. Growing up in this kind of environment, the children decided on trail running on their own. 

Drago Kavčič – professor of sports and physical education presented the way of working with children within the regular school system and plan and extracurricular activities of working with talented children. During his rich career, Drago Kavčič directed many children to the right sports path, and he is considered one of the most deserving people for the sports development of Monika Hrastnik, the European and World champion in MTB.

Iztok Kordiš is the director of the Waldorf School in Ljubljana and as a sports enthusiast, he is mostly connected to cross-country skiing. Iztok presented the system and the specifics of working with children within the Waldorf School System. A special emphasis was placed on the presentation of concept learning in nature and sports activities in this educational system. The Waldorf movement, sports, and games program is fundamentally different from sports education at conventional schools. Sports education and activities are suited to each child’s developmental stage, as well as being linked to what children are learning as part of the rest of their education.

Also, during the meeting, the next steps in the management, evaluation and implementation of the project and the responsibilities of the partners were defined.

In addition to the meeting, a field trip around Idrija was organized. The participants of the meeting visited the Museum of Idrija, the closed Hg Mine and the educational exhibit on geoheritage within the Tourist Information Center in Idrija.