“Languages meet Sport” is a project supported by the Lifelong Learning Programme that uses the communicative power of sport to promote linguistic diversity and multilingualism. Since 2009, three editions of the annual Festival have been organised and brought together over 100 European projects combining language learning and sport: two powerful tools for education, mutual understanding and intercultural dialogue.
Schools, universities, sport clubs and media companies have presented their programs and best practices, thus revealing the surprising mosaic of languages and cultures that co-exist in sports. During these years many stories of sport and languages have been told and can be used as best practices, for example the ARSENAL Double Club language learning through football program, the INTER Campus solidarity programme that gives poor children in the world the right to play. UEFA presented the TV Spot “Different languages one goal” - broadcasted during the Champions League matches - and MTV NEWS highlighted their programme telling stories of ordinary inclusion through sport. The Italian Under 17 Cricket National proudly presented the victories of their team formed almost exclusively by Pakistani, Bengalese and Indian immigrants, a team that maybe anticipates the future of European National formations.
The “LMS 2012 Festival on Regional and Minority Languages” explored the link between language and identity and provided participants an enjoyable experience of learning about the local cultures through languages and sport. The Festival was attended by over 700 students and delegates who had the opportunity to experiment the combination of languages, sport and regional territories. During the workshops participants could rap in Friulano, bike in Basque, play traditional Frison and Cornwall games, learn the body language of the Maori Haka Dance and sing the Multilingual song created during the 2012 Olympic Games and appreciate the value of linguistic diversity.
The next “Languages meet Sport” edition will be focused on active ageing: during the 2014 event senior associations and master sport clubs will be invited to take part in a language and sports kermesse to share their passion for sports and movement in many languages.
See you at the 2014 “Languages meet sport for active ageing”!