Co-financing criteria developed for the EU project Meter Matters with HUSS involvement

The Erasmus+ funded European project Meter Matters has been running for almost two years. The final event of the programme, which included a round-table discussion with Hungarian Olympic champions, was held at the Hungarian University of Sports Science (HUSS), one of the partner institutions of the programme.

The Hungarian University of Sports Science (HUSS) was one of the partner institutions of the Erasmus+ funded European project named Meter Matters, which started on 1 June 2022 and ends on 31 May this year.

Meter Matters explored the field of inclusion in sport with the aim of proposing appropriate criteria for co-financing sports programs involving people with disabilities  in mainstream sports organizations and proposing a model for co-financing inclusion in sport at the national level.

During the project, with the participation of Hungarian University of Sports Science, Hungary, the University of Coimbra, Portugal, APPDA Coimbra – Associacao Portuguesa para as Perturbacoed do Desenvolvimento u Autismo de Coimbra and the Special Olympics Slovenia, research on social inclusion in sport was carried out in three countries, Hungary, Slovenia and Portugal. The primary aim of the event was to present the results of this research as well as the proposals.

The closing event of the project, held in the Hepp Ferenc lecture hall at HUSS, was attended by a number of Hungarian para athletes as well as Dr Gábor Schmidt, Deputy State Secretary for Sport, HUSS Rector Professor Tamás Sterbenz, Lajos Lengyel, President of the Hungarian Special Olympics Association, Krisztián Berki, Olympic gold medallist gymnast, István Gergely, Olympic gold medallist water polo player, Péter Bodnár, Secretary General of the Hungarian Basketball Federation, András Pitz, Deputy Director of Operations of the Hungarian Handball Federation, Orsolya Kárpáti, International Director of the Special Olympics Hungary, Zsófia Gubacsi, Head of the Zsófi Gubacsi Tennis Club and Dr Szilvia Perényi, Associate Professor of the Department of Sports Management.

Co-financing criteria developed for the EU project Meter Matters with HUSS involvement

Dr Gábor Schmidt emphasized that the project aimed to express more than inclusion, tolerance and appreciation of others, as it is about people with disabilities and how they can be given the opportunity to do work of equal value in sports and other areas of life as their able-bodied peers. He recalled that these aspirations and principles are also reflected in the Sporting Nation Programme launched last year.

‘Thanks to our Paralympic gold medallist athlete, associate professor Luca Ekler, the inclusive approach has already entered the educational palette of our university’, said Rector Tamás Sterbenz, who emphasized in his speech that no student can graduate at the university without having heard about the idea of inclusiveness. ’There is a place for inclusiveness in our modern education programme that is now being developed, and it is a particular pleasure that university’s sports club, TFSE is the practical arena where our coaches and competitors can learn more about this vision.’

Lajos Lengyel expressed his hope that more and more HUSS students will be familiar with the way of thinking, the situation and the role of people living with disabilities in sport in the future, and that the joint work, the results of which are extremely important for Special Olympics Hungary, will continue in the future, for which he sees a real chance within the framework of a new EU tender that is currently taking shape.   

After the welcome speeches, Dr Szilvia Perényi, Associate Professor of the Department of Sports Management and Orsolya Kárpáti, International Director of Special Olympics Hungary presented the principles of the applicability of the co-financing system in sport for people with disabilities and the six elements of the criteria set up.

The event closed with two round-table discussions providing proposals based on the research results. One of them provided a great opportunity to learn about good practices, while the other, moderated by Dr Szilvia Perényi, was about governance regulatory systems.

Photo by Gergő Vidor

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