The E+ MESIS project: Implementing the Outsport approach on Education Through Sport

  • The Training of Trainers  

The E+ MESIS project (Missing Pieces For Educators And Local Stakeholders Addressing Inclusive Sport) has finally reached its first important milestone. 

During the Training of Trainers (July 13-16, 2023), 10 participants from five partner organisations came together in Sofia, each of them with specific experience in sport, education and LGBTI issues. 

The main objective was to boost their competences while co-designing the process of the next three Capacity Building Sessions scheduled for 2024, which will select and involve 60 coaches and PE teachers in cooperation with schools, sports associations and local authorities from Bulgaria, Slovenia, Italy and Portugal. 

  • The Outsport approach 

The MESIS project aims to foster inclusive sport communities by developing competences and e-learning tools based on the Outsport approach in 7 different languages. 

After delivering the first research on LGBTI people’s experiences in Sport (German Sport University of Cologne, 2018), the Outsport project issued a specific Toolkit in 2019 aimed at applying Education Through Sport (ETS) on the SOGIGESC field (Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity, Gender Expression, Sexual Characteristics). 

ETS is based on the Human Rights Education framework issued by the Council of Europe (Compass Manual). It combines non-formal education and experiential learning with sport activities as a learning tool. Furthermore, the last version of the European Sports Charter released in 2022 (art. 7), confirms the relevance of this perspective by valuing “education in values through sports ethics”. 

  • MESIS partners and next steps 

The selected participants for the Sofia Training of Trainers came from MESIS project partners: AICS, (Associazione Italiana Cultura Sport, Project leader), EGLSF (European Gay And Lesbian Sport Federation), BILITIS, (Resursen Tsentsar Bilitis – Bilitis Resource Center Foundation), OIS (Športno Društvo – Out In Slovenija), and GCP (Ginásio Clube Português).  

They have been led by ETS and Council of Europe expert László Földi and hosted by project partner BILITIS. During the four days, they dived into a rich program including sport activities, theory, laboratories, mutual learning sessions, team building activities and co-designed actions. 

The group finally individuated three specific teams that guarantee a good balance in terms of experience and competences in sport, education and SOGIGESC issues. The teams will attend further mutual learning and online preparative activities before delivering the Capacity Building Sessions in Italy, Slovenia and Portugal. 

Learning by doing and addressing LGBTI inclusion in sport as part of the human rights education approach – said Project Coordinator Rosario Coco, on behalf of AICS – is the core concept of this methodology, which aims to introduce sport as a tool to create inclusive communities and prevent prejudices based on sexual orientation and gender identity. Experiential learning allows us to work on attitudes and skills, and makes it simpler to introduce a basic and concrete understanding of the importance of human rights. Last but not least, a big thank you goes to Robin Zlatarov, our colleague from BILITIS, for the important effort in terms of logistics and organisation”.



Mesis project page 

The Outsport research (2019) 

The Outsport Toolkit (2019) 

Move and learn Manual (2013)

Compass, Manual for Human Rights Education with Young People (2nd edition)