Interview with START President – Romuald Schmidt

Interview with START President – Romuald Schmidt

Where did the idea of such a Project come from?

Six European countries will be participating in the Project. Each of them comes from the Eastern or Southern part of Europe. In these countries the level of participation of people with disabilities in physical activity is lower than in Western Europe. The practice of sport by people with disabilities in the participating countries is far from the current standards. The lack of modern solutions, marketing and communication strategies, enabling for instance to create a modern sport of people with disabilities, promotion and funds necessary for activities, deprive these people of the possibilities of professional attitude towards the concepts of their activation, among others through sport. That is why, to accomplish the project goals and to make them stable, as well as to increase the possibility of replicate this project, it is indispensable to support the partners with modern tools. It means that the organisations participating in this project want not only to accomplish their tasks related to social inclusion and to equalise the chances in sport, but also aim to take a market-oriented approach.

Why it has such a name?

Osmosis is the process in which there is a movement of area of a high concentration substance to an area of lower concentration. The project’s idea is a reminiscent of the process of OSMOSIS, but with regard to the mutual interpenetration of the sport of people with disabilities and able-bodied.

What do you expect to achieve?

The result will be an increase of social inclusion and equal opportunities for people with disabilities. By creating and developing a transnational network of six NGOs from: Bulgaria, Croatia, Estonia, Macedonia, Latvia, Poland – countries with relatively low-developed systems of implementing social inclusion, as well as with a low level of social integration and sport of people with disabilities, we want to develop effective and modern methods of undertaking actions in the field of disability and sport.

How should it be implemented in practice?

The most innovative feature of the project is the use of modern marketing solutions. Sport marketing will be a base of collaborative partnerships of NGOs working dynamically in different areas of sport and disability. Marketing, together with methods and experiences in social inclusion, activation of people with disabilities and increasing of qualifications of people working with people with disabilities, will enable to achieve the project’s goals.

Who is engaged in this Project?

The existence and quality of management arrangements of the project are confirmed by many years of experience of the project coordinator – “START” Association (which has experience from previous projects) as well as experience of other Project Participants: Disabled Croatian Boccia Association; Zagreb, Croatia; Estonian Union of Sports for The Disabled (EIL); Tallinn, Estonia; Humanitarian Association For Help And Support of The People With Special Needs; Delcevo, Macedonia; Latvian Paralympic Committee; Riga, Latvia and Partners Kyustendil Association; Slokoshtitza, Bulgaria.

What is crucial for the project, sport marketing specialists will be responsible for designing and implementing the Marketing Tool Package (most of them from an Agency KIWIGROUP Poznan, Poland with high reputation in the sports marketing .

What are the expected outcomes of this Project?

As intellectual outputs the Marketing Tool Package (MTP) will be created – a package of standard tools based on marketing know-how, ready for quick adaptation and implementation by each Partner. The greatest value of the project is free access to MTP, for all potential recipients in Europe .

What will make it successful?

First of all the financial support of the Erasmus Programme of the EU guarantees stable and effective implementation of this very difficult, multi-layer project . Secondly our previous experience in Erasmus projects and the guaranteed involvement of all partners ensure us in achieving the planned goals and success.