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Physical activity as a vehicle for social integration and inclusion

CIVIS, a European civic university, is committed to addressing the greatest societal challenges of our time. At this year's Global CIVIS Days in Athens, our open activity will focus on the power of physical activity to support social inclusion - both within the CIVIS Alliance and across society. Come join the CIVIS Panathlon and build an active university!

It is well known that physical activity can be a means for social integration and inclusion. Positive experiences of physical activity can be a vehicle to reduce inequalities for all people, irrespective of their gender, (dis)abilities, age, sexual orientation, religious beliefs, etc. Sport really can build a better society and a better world.

This is why CIVIS is organising a Panathlon* for students and staff across the CIVIS Alliance. Join us and take this great opportunity to meet fellow members of the CIVIS community and be a creative force, sharing expertise and bringing your innovative ideas to life!

*Panathlon is an ancient Greek word, consisting of:

  • pan (=every)
  • athlon (=prize, race, effort, rivalry).

When & where?

  • Date: 18 and 19 May 2022
  • Place: Athens, Greece
  • Host: School of Physical Education & Sports Science of the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens

Who can participate?

CIVIS has 10 member universities, and all members of the community are invited to apply:

  • Students (BA and MA) - across all academic disciplines
  • PhD candidates - across all academic disciplines
  • Post-docs - across all academic disciplines
  • Academic staff - across all academic disciplines
  • Researchers - across all academic disciplines
  • Administrative or managerial staff

Local stakeholders, social partners and citizens will also join us, but they will be directly invited by the organising committee.

Participants must:

  • Be willing and able to come to Athens throughout the Panathlon as it will be held exclusively on campus.
  • Be proficient in English (B2 level)

Around 60 participants will be selected and put into teams by the organising committee.

Travel fees and accommodation will be covered by CIVIS and its member universities.

How to apply

  • Fill in the online application form.
  • The organising committee will select candidates to ensure a diverse representation of genders, universities, academic fields, etc...
  • Successful candidates will be notified by the end of April with instructions about booking travel and accommodation. Do not make any arrangements before being selected!
Registrations are closed. 

How the Panathlon will be organised

Step 1: Teams & Topics

Once the teams are announced, they’ll have to start working on a project based on two topics:

  • How to create an active university for all?
  • How to mobilise the local community and offer physical activity for all?

Based on the selection of topics, participants will be asked to come up with a challenge. This challenge refers to a way to achieve social and cultural integration and inclusion through the active participation of all in physical activities.

Topics include:

Create an active university for all

  • Facilities
  • Lessons/Leisure time
  • Life on campus

Mobilise the local community-physical activity for all

  • Municipality
  • Schools
  • Communication/mass media
  • Workplaces
  • Transportation

Step 2: The Panathlon starts!

During the two days of Panathlon, 18-19 May 2022, each team will brainstorm, decide, design, prototype and pitch its idea! At this phase, social inclusion and integration experts will spend some time with the Panathlon teams to offer them consultancy and advice. Moreover, the citizens who will participate as active members in each group will provide a real-life perspective. This will be an opportunity for all participants to test out their hypotheses, assess the feasibility of their idea, and maybe broaden their horizons and discover untapped potentials.

Step 3: Project presentations

At the end of the Panathlon, all teams will have three minutes to present their innovative responses and projects to a jury of experts and CIVIS member university representatives. They will also demonstrate an example of a “physical activity for all” and instruct the other teams in a live trial of this physical activity.

When assessing the pitches and selecting a winning team, judges will take into consideration the following criteria:

  • Relevance (25%): Does the solution address the issue/problem and fall within the scope of the CIVIS Panathlon challenge as described in the brief?
  • Innovation (25%): How innovative is the solution/approach to solving the problem described in the brief? Are there other solutions available and if so, how does this proposal stand out?
  • Feasibility (25%): How feasible is it to put the solution into practice? Does the solution make sense financially? Would the solution be sustainable over the long term?
  • Replicability/ability to scale up (15%): Can the solution be replicated or scaled to other CIVIS member universities?
  • Quality of presentation (10%): Does the presentation of the idea follow a logical and structured sequence without spelling mistakes and with quality arguments?

Panathlon winners will be awarded one mobility voucher for each of its members to visit the CIVIS University of their choice!