Corina Sibianu/ January 23, 2019/ Uncategorized/ 0 comments

SWILI2-001The New Year is here in a glimpse and together with it the brand new project of Babilon Travel NGO, within the Erasmus+ Sport program of the European Union. Its title: Swim to Live 3 (SWILI3).

It is the third approved project, from a program, started in 2017, and entitled Swim to Live. The first one (2017) was dedicated to adult people that were not actively involved in sport and outdoor activities. The second one (2018) involved children, with and without disabilities, as beneficiaries. The project that will start in January 2019 (Swim to Live 3) is about seniors, age 50+ that are already active in different areas, like sport, learning languages, reading, gardening, playing an instrument, etc.


With this project we want to address the topic of social inclusion and equal opportunities in sport.

We plan to raise awareness of importance of regular physical activity and promoting that awareness. The main goal is to spread the motivation for active lifestyle from one senior (50+) European citizen to another. With these project we want to increase active lifestyle, but also social inclusion through sport: people can join an established collective of like-minded people. We promote equal opportunities in sport in general, anyone can join, no matter how healthy or sick, how able or disable, how young or old, male or female and to enhance physical activity in the largest possible number of people, locally and globally. Besides an improved physical wellbeing a healthier way of life promotes a better self image, a more positive outlook on life, new friends and colleagues which improves one’s social inclusion.

The aim is to being active and to facilitate making a habit of regular swimming activities and other physical activities among European citizens who are close to retiring or already retired.

We will keep participants active through telling their life stories and sharing their experiences. Each participant (with the help of club leader) will prepare a short presentation or speech about how they are keeping an active lifestyle after retirement. They will share their feelings and experiences with remaining active. These stories will then be spread around through the internet and social an paper media. Every partner country will have the first task of spreading these stories in their language and second, at the transnational meetings, everyone will share their story to peers from partner countries. So we will have even wider view on how to stay active.

We want to start making place for our seniors. We want to incorporate their knowledge and wisdom and show them how precious they are to us instead of pushing them to the sidelines. We plan to include in the project seniors who are already active, especially those who are active in different areas (sport, learning languages, reading, gardening, playing an instrument…). And then these active individuals will share their stories, the reasons what keeps them agile and young in the mind, what motivates them. We want to show these seniors that they have a lot to offer to our community/ society.

At the transnational meetings they will tell their stories to each other, we will collect them, write them down or film them – and show this to other seniors across Europe so that the people who are in a vulnerable time in their life and can potentially drop out of their activities, can hear these stories and become motivated again.

Snowball effect: the ones who are active are those who can influence their peers the most. Our active seniors will be the ambassadors for active lifestyle to their peers. The local club will organize Open house day 4 times (March, May, June, November). The already active seniors will invite up to 5 peers, friends, colleagues, coworkers etc. to their training session (swimming, mindfulness or gym).

The active part of the project for the senior (50+) will be a free of charge swimming, strength training and mindfulness lessons for up to 6 months and travelling to the transnational meetings, because we have the experience and evidence that swimming is a sport for all age groups and different physical abilities and disabilities, that is why we want to show seniors that they can also be a part of the group or community, even if they are not winning, if they can not do everything the same as younger people in the group or when their results starts to slow down.

We will provide 5-10 seniors (per country) who will get free swimming lessons combined with mindfulness practice and weights training for up to 6 months. They will be the ambassadors of love towards sport (swimming). These seniors will travel to the transnational meetings where they will exchange their experiences and ideas and then the organisation’s staff will share their experiences on the internet, social media and different press media. If it is necessary the instructors can help with the language barriers.

We plan to invite and include seniors who are already active and are not ashamed to speak about themselves. In the time of the project they will be swimming once per week, expand their knowledge in basic mindfulness and add once per week for dryland training.

Transnational meetings:

Each partner country will get financed for 1 club leader and 1 swimming instructor and 5 swimmers to join us for workshops. If the budget is big enough each partner can decide that more than 5 can train (but not more than 10). Only 5 seniors will travel to the transnational meetings, because of the budget is planned with 5 seniors plus 1 leader, one instructor and one companion for the Romanian team.

In the budget we also plan the costs for renting the facilities for open house days (4 times).

We will have 1 meeting in Slovenia in the beginning of the project for instructors and club leaders and 3 workshops. One in Italy, one in Romania and the last one again in Slovenia. This will be a wonderful opportunity for all of us to be a part of the community and to expand our borders. Each senior will prepare a short presentation about her/him – what is their motivation.

We plan to continue educating swimming instructors. We plan to engage professionals from the field of kinesiology and physical fitness, medical doctor, physiotherapist so the instructors will become even better teachers.

One of our objectives is also to improve our certificate of competency that we have been developing since 2016 – the “Swim to Live” licence for swimming instructors.

Instructors will be educated through the year with a goal to complete the tasks and get the licence or if they already have it, they will upgrade in the field of working with seniors. They will be competent in the fields of working with swimmers of different abilities, learn how to deal with the problems regarding gender, political or religious issues and of course in motivational strategies (knowledge of motivational theories, change models, etc). Besides this they will gain the basic knowledge about fitness training and the basic aspects of mindfulness in theory and practice which will benefit them for a lifetime.

Instructors will gain knowledge about teaching seniors no matter of their previous physical abilities. They will learn mindfulness, which is a very useful tool in today’s society. The residents / locals will be better informed about regular physical activities especially swimming because of the project. We will combine young instructors with a lot of sport knowledge and experts in the field of working with seniors.

In the project we will explore and prove two things. First: how exercise can benefit a wide range of people, those acutely stressed to those with chronic distress, by alleviating stress and improving self-esteem. Exercise has a direct impact on a person and works as a medium of psychotherapy. Second: if we combine mindfulness and sport we get a winning combination for the future use – if we teach them to observe their emotions they will become more persistent with following their goals.

The project will begin in January 2019 with an opening meeting in Slovenia with the club leaders and swimming instructors where we will discuss how we will organise the project and have a workshop on the topics of physical fitness of seniors and mindfulness.

Each partner will be responsible for a part of the project’s organisation and evaluation of their part. Each partner will host a short 2 to 3 day workshop and meeting for the participants, swimming instructors and club leaders of all partner countries. The first will take place in Romania in April 2019, the second one will be held in Italy in October 2019 and the last one in Slovenia in November 2019, where we will host a friendly swimming competition and have our final evaluation meeting.

The practical part of the project is organised in 3 parts:

Swimming lessons and physical fitness training for up to 6 months, twice a week; mindfulness sittings for up to 6 months, once a week.

Visits to partner countries for opening meeting and workshops; two visits in Slovenia in January for opening meeting and in November for workshops and a swimming competition, one visit to Romania in April and one visit to Italy in October.

Online part: meetings, webinars and tasks for the Swim to Live licence, collecting the stories and writing down or filming good examples.

We will tend to needs of every key component:

  • Seniors will be invited to join regular swimming practice with greater care for their needs and a better teaching approach. Our goal is to learn about their motivation, in return they will learn to swim better, get some dryland training, learn mindfulness and practice it during the lifespan of the project  (hopefully they will continue with this after the project is over, they will learn about fitness training appropriate for their age group);
  • Club leaders will be gaining new knowledge in the fields of organising regular activities for seniors, gaining awareness of importance of life transitions, dissemination skills, sharing, reflecting, commenting, technological skills, adopted exercises for older people, how to adjust environment for them and mindfulness;
  • Swimming instructors will develop teaching competencies, gain new knowledge, improve their teaching skills, get new ideas for teaching, learn about fitness training for seniors; mindfulness training and practice.

The official language of the project will be English, but each organisation can share information as they see fit (we will encourage the instructors and club leaders to be translators for their seniors if the need occurs). When we’ll give out questionnaires they will be adapted and translated or nonverbal.

In case you are interested in participating, please fill out the application form

You can also download the info pack for participants:

Deadline for applying: January 15, 2019.

For any further information, please do not hesitate to contact us at


  • ŠD Riba (Slovenia);
  • Sfera (Italy)

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