Tuesday, 30 April 2024 08:22

Projects in eight countries awarded funding to get young people active in the outdoors

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Grassroots projects from eight different countries have been awarded funding that will help get young people active in the outdoors.

The It’s Great Out There Coalition (IGOT) has revealed details of the recipients of the latest #itsgreatoutthere grants, providing €32,000 of support to initiatives in Montenegro, France, Slovenia, the United Kingdom, Spain, Germany, Finland and Portugal.

Launched in 2017 by the It’s Great Out There Coalition, #itsgreatoutthere grants support grassroots projects by non-profit organisations that are designed to introduce young people to outdoor activities, especially those from disadvantaged or more diverse backgrounds. By the end of 2023, the coalition had supported 50 initiatives through the grants programme, directly involving almost 8,000 individuals. Every organisation that is supported by an #itsgreatoutthere grant follows IGOT’s Outdoor Activity Days (OAD) model. OAD are targeted physical activity interventions in nature, that are designed to get citizens active, sustainably, inclusively and responsibly, and which are aligned to the latest World Health Organization guidelines on physical activity. Between them, the projects that have been awarded #itsgreatoutthere grants in 2024 will deliver 1,195 OAD.

Radovljica Mountaineering Society Slovenia 002 Radovljica Mountaineering Society Slovenia

IGOT received a record number of over 140 applications for the latest round of #itsgreatoutthere grants. The submissions were assessed against a range of criteria and a shortlist was sent to coalition members, who voted for their preferred options. The eight successful projects will involve a variety of activities, from camping and climbing, to backwoods skills development and stand up paddleboarding. The non-profit organisations behind the initiatives will use the #itsgreatoutthere grants to enrich the lives of young people with many backgrounds, but all sharing circumstances that mean they have spent little or no time being active in nature.

The eight projects which have received #itsgreatoutthere grants for 2024 are:

  • Young people packrafting and ski touring in Montenegro, by Nature Lovers, Montenegro
  • 'Climb towards your goals!', by Association APART, France
  • Outdoor climbing and nature camp for youth, by Radovljica Mountaineering Society, Slovenia
  • Step Out Mentoring goes camping, by Step Out Mentoring, United Kingdom
  • Nature Explorers: Outdoor adventure programme for orphaned children, by Weare1 Association, Spain
  • Empowering Youth Through Outdoor Adventures: Skateboarding and SUP, by Chill Foundation gUG (Haftungsbeschränkt), Germany
  • The Sleep Outdoors Night 2024, by Mikkelin Latu, Finland
  • Rediscovering the Magic Hill of N.Sra.da Encarnação - active children at the natural heart of Leiria, by Ludotempo - Associação de Promoção do Brincar, Portugal.

Step Out Mentoring UK 002 Step Out Mentoring UK

Margo de Lange, secretary general of the It’s Great Out There Coalition, comments: “We were really encouraged to receive so many applications this year. While this did highlight the scale of the challenge that we all face in getting Europe more active outdoors, it also demonstrated that awareness is growing all over Europe about the #itsgreatoutthere campaign and our proven Outdoor Activity Days model.

“There were many excellent applications, so it was a tough task to come up with a shortlist, and then for It's Great Out There Coalition members to make choices from the final selection that we circulated. We're grateful for the support of our membership in helping us select the successful initiatives, and for continuing to support the #itsgreatoutthere campaign with vital funds. Now we are really looking forward to following and celebrating the progress of each project over the months ahead.”

For more information about the It’s Great Out There Coalition and the #itsgreatoutthere campaign, visit www.itsgreatoutthere.com.