SWOST: Interview with a BMX coach Olafs Lakucs 15.06.2021

My name is Olafs Lakučs. I am a BMX coach of Valmiera BMX club “Talava”. I have been coaching BMX for around fifteen years. But I have been associated with BMX for 30 years, which actually is since the very beginning of BMX in Latvia. Therefore, I dare to claim knowing BMX sports.

The question was whether our sports – BMX, is masculine or not?

I say yes and no. Regarding the sports as such, I would say that both girls and boys can ride equally good. Yet, we must take into consideration boys’ physical abilities and girls’ physical abilities, because the feminine gender by nature is a little bit weaker, which we can observe by, for example, speed results. Yet, it has been proven that girls can drive equally as good as boys.

Of course, there is a dominance of men. BMX is not 50/50 males/females. Approximately 10 female out of 100 BMX riders is the general number of BMX athletes.

Currently, there is a strong tendency from both the International Cycling Federation and national Cycling Federation to put a significant impact on gender balance. And one of visible proofs of that is minus one male athlete in the Olympic Games starting from these Games, which is added to female representatives, thus making the balance of 50/50% representatives of both genders.

My personal opinion is that this is normal. Currently the whole communion and the roles in it changes.

I was asked a question – what is easier to work with? I should say definitely with the boys. Girls have their own “fleas”, which is why it is hard to understand them sometimes.

- Do you consider your organization a gender balance friendly?

Yes. Yes, I believe we definitely are. It is most visible within the last two years when women are equalized with men completely and definitively. And it is not only in our club or country, but in the whole world. First, women ride the same traces. Second, they are paid equal amount of money. Women are all subject to the same rules as men. Therefore, I say yes – I don’t see that any woman would be discriminated in our BMX sport.

Watch and listen to the interview in the original language HERE.

Find related articles on gender balance and equality as well as on sport without stereotypes in the SWOST project's official webpage HERE.

WoW Europe 5th Activity 21.05.2021.

The last activity of the WOW EUROPE project was held in the stadium with 9 - 10 year old children with their sports teacher Ginta Teko, who was awarded as the best sports teacher of this school-year. The famous athlete invited to this activity was the Olympian, kayaker, Kristaps Zaļupe, who participated in all "Today I'm Your Teacher of Sport" activities. The activity took place on a rather cold day for the end of May, but it did not keep all of the participants from having a fun and something physically valuable in a creative atmosphere. This time one of the activities demanded not only the physical strength and speed skills in relays of athletic, but also their minds. Why? How? You may see and judge it yourself from the video of the day that testifies all the previously written. Since the rules at the end of May still stated that only up to 20 people are allowed to gather outside, then including the shooter of the activity, we almost fulfilled the maximum amount of the allowed - 19 people all together.

We had much fun and, to say the truth, our team was also growing and becoming more skillful from each new activity and this one was the favourite one of LSIIDP team. Our team has learned a lot from the "Today I'm Your Teacher of Sport" activities, which will be possible for the sport teachers to use in their daily lessons, especially to have a fresh fire in childrens' hearts and a new desire to do physical activities.

LSIIDP team says great thanks to the WOW EUROPE team and the possibility that forced us to seek ways to implement the activites in the tough restriction period that took almost all the school-year 2020/2021.

Watch the video of the day HERE.

SWOST: Ever Active Launch of Work Packages 07.06.2021

SWOST - Sport Without Stereotypes, is an Erasmus+ Sports project aimed at, leading a tangible social transformation in the mindset of European sport organisations at all levels in increasing people’s awareness on gender stereotyping and discrimination. The ultimate output of the project is the creation of a set of online tools that provide self-assessment and guidance for sports clubs and associations to improve their gender behaviours, regulations and policies.

In particular, the project addresses the cross-sectorial cooperation of 11 partners in 9 countries, in order to achieve the following objectives:

● Promote and increase the participation of males and females in sports typically categorized like “gender based sports”, with a specific focus on young people;
● Empower the skills of youngsters, by raising awareness and consciousness in their sports choices, uproot gender stereotype perceptions, which could influence young people and their families in the selection of a sport to practice;
● Underline successful cases, share the experiences and the effective best practices of sports associations in the field of gender mainstreaming;
● Create a self-assessment online tool able to guide sport associations. The online tool will redirect users - in a customized manner - to existing tools, good practices and resources applied in other geographical or sectorial contexts, also with important goals of progressive networking and capacity building of the actors involved at all levels.
● Monitor and improve the state of art of gender policies used by European sports associations and the beneficiaries of the Sport without Stereotypes/SWOST project;
● Raise the awareness about homophobia and gender-based violence that happens in sports clubs.

The official webpage of the project SWOST is HERE

RSE: Remote cycling competition “Restart Sport Engine in EU BIKE" is finished

The remote cycling competition “Restart Sport Engine in EU BIKE” organized by the Latvijas Sporta izglītības iestāžu Direkoru padome in cooperation with the Olympic Center “Limbaži” has ended. The competition was organized within the project "Restart Sport Engine in EU".

Cyclists had an opportunity to participate in the competition from May 11 to June 13. Athletes had to complete a 21.06-kilometer track at a convenient time. This has been done a total of 68 times. In an effort to improve his score, the fastest rider has completed the track up to eight times.

THE AWARD OF THE COMPETITION WILL TAKE PLACE ON FRIDAY, JUNE 18, AT 16:00 IN THE TERRITORY OF CANOE BASE!

The participants of the competition were divided into three age groups. In the youngest of them (up to 17 years) the victory was celebrated by Toms Upmalis, who finished the track in 1:28,09. In second place, three minutes behind the winner, ranked Reds Martinsons, and third place was won by Niks Feierbergs, whose time was 1:31,18.

In the girls' competition, two participants took part in the youngest group. First place was won by Aleksa Zaļupe with the time 1:11,42, but the second by Evelīna Paegle, who completed the track 10 seconds slower.

Kristaps Zaļupe, won not only the gold medal in his age group from 18 to 45 years, but also showed the fastest time of all participants. He completed the track in 39 minutes and 28 seconds. Valters Vīķis was slower by less than a minute, but the third place was won by Mārcis Ceijers.

In the ladies' competition with the time 52,42 the first place was won by Anta Bojāne, but the second best time 55,34 was shown by Elēna Silāja. The bronze medal goes to Liene Rozenberga, who finished the track in 1:14,50.

In the most experienced age group from 46 years and above, the first place in the men's competition was won by Māris Kreišmanis, whose time is 49,57. Pēteris Majors took the silver medal with the time 52,04, but the third place with the time 54,39 was won by Dzintars Breške.

For the ladies in this same age group there were two participants, the fastest of which was Liene Lipska with the time of 1:10,13, while the second place went to Sandra Upīte.

We will contact the winners personally.