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

GENERATION NEXT SUMMER IN GEORGIA

1st September 2021

August 2021 marked a new chapter in YMCA Georgia record books. Although being involved in the YMCA Europe “Generation Next” project for already a year with lots of preparatory work and arrangements carried out, it was the last month when all the efforts came into fruition.

It started with “Sports Trainers for Stronger Communities'' Summer School on August 1 - 7, 2021 at YMCA Georgia Resource Centre “Camp Orange”.

In close cooperation with Georgian State University of Physical Education & Sport, 18 young people from different regions of Georgia and representing various Sports Federations (Fencing, Baseball & Softball & Gymnastics) had the opportunity to engage in a week-long innovation led educational module that aimed to equip them with necessary theoretical and practical knowledge to enhance their potential & enable them to act as qualified sports program leaders in their respective communities – promoting healthy lifestyle, attracting larger number of children and youth in sports programs and eventually investing towards safer and more advanced society.

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Although Sports occupies a distinguished place in YMCA Georgia history as the first programs of the organization were Baseball & Street Basketball, the preparation and delivery of the Academic program was a fresh start. And invited five professors did their best to make sure that the participants received an engaging and innovative content - Basics of Coaching, Organizational  & Planning Skills, Sports Psychology, Performance Enhancement, Physiology & Medical Aid is the incomplete list of skills and know-how that the program beneficiaries were challenged to grasp and learn. 

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There were obstacles too - taking place amidst the drastic surge of Covid19 cases in Georgia, the Summer School was affected as well with one of the venue service staff members being diagnosed with the virus. Acting promptly and having the health of participants as a top priority, the unanimous decision was to cut the program one day short and send all of them home in coordinated fashion. Luckily, no one else became infected. The remaining program hours will be compensated in online mode and the participants will receive the official certification upon completion.


A week later it was all “Generation Next” and Camp Orange again - this time these were those 10 young people that were identified to receive student scholarships through the project for 2021 - 2022 academic year. 

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Selected on the basis of economic background, regional and ethnic representation and gender balance, as well as previous merit and contribution towards YMCA Georgia - they were part of “Camp Leaders Training” organized by YMCA Georgia in cooperation with YMCA of the USA. Because opportunities come with responsibilities and contribution of community work service hours was one of the formal requirements for obtaining the scholarships. 

The Executive Secretary of YMCA Europe, Vardan Hambardzumyan visited the event to get to know the beneficiaries personally and to highlight the significance of the initiative for them, as well as for YMCA Georgia in terms of enhanced capacity and visibility. So the stage was all set to act and deliver...

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And so they did - being a part of a program that lasted 6 days with 20 vibrant and motivated young people, each of the scholarship holders gave their best. Theoretical and Practical workshops related to camp leader skills, energizers, outdoor activities and excursions, talent shows or board games - they planned, led and enjoyed altogether! 

This was not an isolated success story either - all scholarship holders remain committed to stay on as volunteers in various YMCA Georgia activities to happen through the years ahead.

Generation Next is on! See you NEXT year!

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