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The story of LTeam Start Up participants: how the combination of sport and environmental protection can turn into a unique project

Already during the last year’s sports events one of the winners of the 2019 LTeam Start Up programme has paid a lot of attention to the promotion of not only physical activity, but also of protection of the environment, which is one of the main criteria of the 2020 programme.

Last year VŠĮ “Be1Sc”, founded in 2017, submitted a unique workout idea called “VISI VAROM’i tire workouts“ to the commission of the LTeam START UP programme.

Out of 307 submitted applications, the commission selected 22 most worthy, 14 of which were awarded funding after the public presentation of the projects. The authors of the tire workouts were among the lucky ones.

“Thanks to the funding we received, we were able to implement a grandiose ambition – to put up a workout track made of tires, which was the unique point of our event,” recalled Monika Zažeckytė-Kšivickė, “Be1” business development manager.

Both last year and this year, the LTeam Start Up programme will allocate EUR 25,000 for financing projects.  However, this year’s mission is slightly different than that of 2019: The Lithuanian National Olympic Committee (LNOC) and the Lithuanian Olympic Fund (LOF), which implement the LTeam START UP GOES GREEN programme, will not only encourage organizing events that promote physical activity, but also exclusively encourage doing this in a nature-friendly manner.

“In the modern society, the issue of nature protection is an integral part of life – sorting, recycling, food conservation, ecological shopping, sustainable conservation of natural resources, reduction of pollution – everyone chooses one or another measure.

We choose not only to take these measures by ourselves, but also to remind about them, to spread and initiate them by promoting them during our events. We talk about them a lot, we talk loudly and through various channels available to us”, pointed out M. Zažeckytė-Kšivickė, who together with the “Be1” team intends to participate in the programme’s selection again this year.

– Tell us about the tire workouts idea. How and why was it conceived? – M. Zažeckytė-Kšivickė was asked by LTOK.lt

– In fact, the idea of “VISI VAROM’i” workout was really born as an initiative for environmental protection and sustainable use of resources, which, of course, was based on sport, because our team consists of athletes and sports coaches. One of the main activity areas of the “Be1” team is the promotion of physical activity and healthy lifestyle. It is no secret that a healthy body requires a healthy environment, so we decided to go further and to take care not only of people’s health, but also of the surrounding environment.

– What is the main goal of these workouts?

– This project aims at bringing members of different Kaunas city communities together for joint activities, at presenting the importance of physical activity in an innovative and modern way, at encouraging representatives of different age groups to spend their free time actively, and at offering alternative joint activities for the whole family. The uniqueness of “VISI VAROM’i” tire workouts is that they are performed with tires – these were used to build the training course and are used as sports equipment.

Also, tires become a non-traditional means of promoting social responsibility among community members by educating them about the importance of tire waste management and the simplicity of the tire recycling process. The participants are provided information material and encouraged to bring old tires to the workout, from where the project’s implementors will collect them and take away for recycling.

– Why did you decide to participate in the LTeam Start Up programme in 2019? Was it hard to meet the necessary criteria?

– As soon as we saw the call for applications to participate in the selection for the LTeam Start Up programme, we had no doubts that we needed to participate. The recognition and support by the Lithuanian National Olympic Committee is not only a wonderful appreciation for our activities, but also an honor and a great motivation to do even more and better.

Since the selection criteria were logical and reasonable, it was not difficult to meet them with a well-designed project. Incredibly high levels of interest and competition were another matter. The commission received the ideas of numerous institutions. The fact that our idea was chosen from such a large number of great ideas was no less pleasing than the funding received.

– How did the implementation of the programme go? How many and what kinds of workouts did you have?

– We are proud to say that we implemented all the plans perfectly. We organized four workouts in Kaunas – one for every season of the year. Neither autumn’s showers, not winter’s winds discouraged the events’ participants.

Each time we prepared different workouts and courses for the participants, so we managed to surprise them, convince them to test their strength, learn to engage in sports correctly and develop team skills. During the project, sports enthusiasts were introduced to functional, running, and strength workouts.

– Were there many participants of various age groups and genders?

– The project attracted not only a very numerous, but also a truly diverse crowd of participants. The youngest participant in the “VISI VAROM’i” tire workout was just 6 years old and the oldest was 63 years old. In our workouts, everyone found something to do – men, women, children and adults alike. This versatility really inspired the coaches’ creativity in creating workout plans, obstacle courses and even the workout topics themselves – during the project we had both family workouts and workouts for pairs.

– Do you intend to participate in the LTeam Start Up programme in 2020?

– This year we will definitely be participating in the selection process for this programme, especially since this year’s programme has a special mission – LTeam START UP GOES GREEN. It appears that this signifies a match with our own views on the needs of modern society, so we this year we would also be incredibly happy to have the opportunity to implement the project with the help of LTeam Start Up.

Luckily, the redistribution of funding due to the spread of the coronavirus did not affect this initiative, because this year such funding will be needed more than ever. You can take away the training ground and equipment from the athlete, but you will never take away the love for sports. Therefore, any support for mass events that foster love for sports provides not only the necessary material backup, but also the motivation to act, to move forward, and to work together in a team.

About the LTeam START UP GOES GREEN 2020 programme

The main criteria of the programme are as follows: focus on environmental issues and sustainability, number of participants and spectators, promotion of physical activity, inclusion of non-typical and new forms of physical activity, community involvement, previous experience, and opportunity for further development. Applications that do have sustainability or environmental plan of the event clearly described will not be considered.

The minimum financial support will be EUR 1,000 and the maximum – as much as EUR 5,000. A total of EUR 25,000 will be allocated for financing various projects.

“Sustainability is one of the main direction of the International Olympic Committee’s activities, therefore, in accordance with these recommendations, we are gradually implementing sustainability in our projects,” explained the LNOC President Daina Gudzinevičiūtė. “Last year we received as many as 307 applications and funded 14 projects, so this year we again encourage sports enthusiasts to boldly present their initiatives.”

Projects can be registered by all types of legal entities with the status of a beneficiary. Applications can be submitted until October 30 by filling in the following registration form: http://bit.do/lteam-startup2020.

Start Up_Updated rules (In Lithuanian)

Programme implementation period: January 1, 2021 – December 31, 2021. The final winners will be announced on November 27th on the website LTOK.lt.

The selection of projects will take place in two stages: during the first stage, the submitted applications will be evaluated by the Programme Committee composed of competent figures of the sports community (Olympians, journalists, sports professionals), while the second stage will include only the best projects the authors of which will be invited to present their ideas live.

The LTeam and LNOC logos must be incorporated in the project descriptions and later in their implementation. Each beneficiary of financial support will be required to submit a project report within 30 calendar days of implementing the project.

Organizations that have not submitted the report for the previously received support under the LTeam START UP programme are not eligible to participate in this year’s programme.

 

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