MESIS: Coaches and PE teachers in Ljubljana for the second training on the Outsport method

MESIS CBS in Ljubljana: learning the Outsport method

Starting from March 21th to March 24, more than 20 people from different countries dove into workshops and physical activities based on Education Through Sport (ETS) and the Outsport method. The second MESIS Capacity Building Session finally took place in Ljubljana, organised by MESIS partner OIS – Out in Slovenia. 

Coaches, PE teachers, youth workers, trainers, observers (job-shadowing trainers), volunteers and staff members attended a 4 days learning session full of experiences and mutual learning opportunities. 

An interview with Rene Konradin (Out in Slovenia) and Rosario Coco (AiCS) was published in Italian by Radio Capodistria. 

The trainers shaped the program by levereaging on the experience of the first CBS in Rome. Exercises and activities met the general framework set up in 2023 in Sofia at the beginning of the project, with some new interesting activities. Among them, we mention the opening team building session, where trainers asked participants to walk through the centre of Ljubljana and answer some quiz about the city, finding the answers collectively. Furthermore, the exercise called “human library” was an added value, as it made it easier to understand stories and experiences about discrimination and exclusion in sports. 

Just like in the Roman session, the program addressed the importance of sport as a tool for human rights education and the development of social competences among young students and athletes. 

The Outsport method

The Outsport method applies ETS – Education Through Sport to LGBTQIA+ inclusion. It has been recently recognized by the World Health Organisation and focuses on discrimination based on SOGIESC issues (Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity, Gender Expression and Sexual Characteristics). 

Participants attended workshops related to their personal understanding of discrimination in sport, knowledge about SOGIESC topics and ETS activity.

The practices on the field focused on several activities, from drawing to running, from basketball games to other interactive games based on special rules. 

The main ETS exercise was based on role cards. A basketball game was arranged, and special secret roles were given to each participant. Roles were coordinated with learning objectives, in this case, understanding SOGIESC discrimination. Some roles were “lesbian player”, or “black transgender player”, for example. During the game, facilitators progressively displayed some statements on a billboard  indicating some scenarios, for instance: “do you feel comfortable while changing in the locker room?”. According to their roles, players were asked to decide if they were totally fine with each statement. If they were not, they had to stop. In some cases, most of the players ended up playing without moving. This is a practical way to experience discrimination and marginalisation on the field. The debriefing part allows participants to talk about how they feel, what they see and what they think about the experience.

The ETS “golden rules” 

This activities, like the others, met the ETS “golden rules”: 

  • Clear learning objectives;
  • Well selected physical activity/sport experience;
  • Adequate debriefing.

Education through sport is indeed based on using experiential learning as part of Human Rights Education. It works on attitudes, skills and values by leveraging on the emotional side. This way, it becomes easier to build knowledge about human-rights related topics, in this case SOGIESC. 

The MESIS Capacity Building in Ljubljana is part of a broader process of continuous learning and competence building, involving trainers, learners, training designers and host organisations.

Next CBS Session

GCP – Ginásio Clube Português is ready to deliver the last CBS session, thanks to the experience from Rome and Ljubljana made by observers Daniel Simões and Michele Mommi, who will be among the trainers in Lisbon on behalf of EGLSF. They both attended the CBS session in Rome to analyse the process and improve the organisation of their own sessions. 


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Thanks to: 

Trainers team: Trainers team: Rene Koradin, Angelica Saenz, Aldo Dadone. Observers: Sarah Townsend, Daniel Simões, Rosario Coco, Robin Zlatarov. Staff & Volunteers: Marta Pujols Riu, Tina Šmid. Andrej Pišl, MESIS coordinator for Out in Slovenia.

Photo: Tina Šmid