This year, on 16 February, representatives of Elverum Municipality in Norway visited Ropaži Municipality to get acquainted with the municipality’s capacity to organise football practice sessions for local children and young people in mixed groups together with asylum seekers and refugees, thus promoting integration processes in the society. The purpose of the visit was also to plan the successful attraction of appropriate Norwegian experts and their contribution, taking all the circumstances into account.
A meeting was held early in the morning with the participation of representatives of Ropaži Municipality Council management and a speech by the Chairwoman Vita Paulāne, who also wished for successful implementation of the project. The meeting included a presentation of what has been done and what is planned. The Norwegian partners presented their view and offer, the process of attracting experts and the planned events.
Taking into account all the parties involved, for successful cooperation in the project activities, representatives of the delegation visited the Accommodation Centre for Asylum Seekers “Mucenieki”, Multifunctional Center “Mucenieki” and Ropaži Secondary School, as well as Ropaži Rural Territory sports halls in Ropaži and Zaķumuiža, where football practice sessions are potentially planned while the construction works of Mucenieki Stadium are ongoing.
At the end of the day, a joint discussion was organised to draw up a work plan and to mark the dates of the next visits in the calendars.
Within the framework of the project, a football coach will be hired with whom an agreement will be concluded for the organisation of training sessions for mixed groups in Ropaži Municipality. There will also be other planned activities, such as cultural events, physical activity classes, a day camp and events dedicated to health and sport. The stadium is expected to be completed in autumn this year, where one of the big events of the new Mucenieki Stadium is planned to be a mixed group football match with guests from Elverum Football Club.
Alf Kristian Enger (Project Manager of Elverum Municipality), Anders Bronken (Manager of the Elverum Football Club), Wenche Brusevolddalen (Representative of Elverum Secondary School, Expert on Integration Issues) and Daria Dyresen (International Relations Consultant) visited Ropaži Municipality government.
The delegation was accompanied by the project team – Daniels Balodis (Sports Specialist), Diāna Viļčuka (Project Manager), Līga Mekša (Project Manager), Anita Antone (Head of Multifunctional Centre of Ropaži Rural Territory), Liene Mihailova (Public Relations Specialist), Linda Guščina (Accountant), Nauris Bērziņš (Head of the Accommodation Centre for Asylum Seekers “Mucenieki”), Andrejs Račkovs (Assistant Expert of the Accommodation Centre for Asylum Seekers “Mucenieki”).
The visit of the Norwegian partners took place within the framework of the project “Integration Related Measures in Mucenieki” (No. LV-LOCALDEV-0007). The project is implemented under the “Local Development, Poverty Alleviation and Cultural Cooperation” programme, co-funded by Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway through EEA Grants.