„YMCA Europe is a working fellowship to strengthen movements where people grow in body, mind and spirit.“


26th September 2019

European Sport YMCA Seminar was hosted by YMCA Siderno, Italy between 11 and 15th September 2019, bringing together 35 young people from 7 Countries.

Sport, community, exchange…These things just fit the YMCA! We, a delegation of six people from Germany, were able to experience this once again at the YMCA Sport Seminar from 11-15 September 2019.

For five days in Siderno, a medium-sized city in southern Italy, we were part of a group of 35 people from seven European nations. All these people deal with sport in their YMCA in some way. During the seminar, however, the focus was not only on sport itself. The units in the morning, for example, dealt with crucial values in the YMCA or with aims and plans for the future. I found the various group work particularly exciting, in which it became clear in which different ways sports and youth work is implemented in the different YMCAs and which similarities and basic values can still be found everywhere. I am sure that all participants did benefit from that time. I am also convinced that this seminar has helped to bring the European sport YMCA (short: ESY) even closer together.

Of course, not only sport and the YMCA were discussed, but also sport was actively practiced. Each nation has brought along a sports discipline that has been explained and tried out together. There was handball, volleyball, basketball, football and flag football. Despite the hot weather conditions, we had a lot of motivation and fun in the sport, so there were some thrilling games. The leisure time was not neglected either: swimming breaks in the directly adjoining Mediterranean Sea or the joint visits to the YMCA beach bar were for example highlights that contributed to our getting to know and appreciate each other better and better.

In retrospect, I would, therefore, describe this seminar as a complete success both on a practical and a personal level. Many thanks to all participants of this seminar and to the YMCA Siderno. 

Jonathan Parisius, Germany


The sport seminar in Siderno was a great experience for me to meet people from different countries and learn about the YMCA. I have definitely gotten a better idea of how YMCA is in different countries. Before I went to Siderno I did not really know much about the YMCA in other countries than Denmark. I think I can use my new knowledge to understand what YMCA does for young people and why it is important. My new knowledge also makes me understand that being a part of YMCA is being a part of something bigger. 

Apart from that, it was just a fantastic experience. I met a lot of new amazing people and I was introduced to many different cultures. I also got a lot of new friends. It was just so easy to talk to the other participants because everyone was open and welcoming. 

Anna, 18 years old, Denmark

The ESY Sport Seminar was for me a great opportunity to meet people from YMCAs in other countries and get to know them as persons and learn about the way they include different activities and sports in their YMCA. Everyone was really outgoing and openminded to try new things such as sports and small games, but also to give something of themselves to the community in the group even though we just met. This fact also really showed that everyone comply with the YMCA values, which are the same in every country.   

The surroundings in Siderno were wonderful and made it really easy to do activities outside of the schedule so that we could spend more time together e.g. at the beach, playing basketball in the court or have a drink at the beach bar in the evenings. 

With me from Siderno, I have an international network inside the YMCA, new knowledge about the association and of course great memories.

Kristianna, 24 years old, Denmark

Check out the photo album of the Sport Seminar

ESY - Sport Seminar 2019