IT Carlow and European Partners launch Erasmus+ training resource for Boys and Young Men


Institute of Technology Carlow will this Friday (6th Dec) launch a new Erasmus+ training resource – Sports Students as Mentors for Boys and Young Men (‘SSaMs’) – that uses sport as a vehicle to effectively mentor boys and young men in areas such as health, educational attainment and preventing early school leaving.

The SSaMs training resource is the culmination of two years work from partners in England, Spain, Italy, Greece, the Czech Republic and Ireland. The programme originated against a backdrop of increasing interest at a research and policy level on gender issues with boys and young men, including boys’ and young men’s health, educational attainment and links to early school leaving. Across the EU, boys have lower rates of educational attainment than girls, are much more likely to leave school earlier and less likely to go onto higher education. Furthermore, early school leaving also has more far-reaching detrimental impacts, including criminality, and social exclusion. 

Early intervention for groups at risk of early school leaving is critically important. This SSaMs training resource addresses this need by providing sports students with practical skills in mentoring work with boys and young men. Importantly, the SSaMs programme utilises a strengths-based mentoring methodology, to provide sports students with the knowledge and skills required to effectively mentor boys and young men. These are skills that will be highly applicable to sports-based work with young people on graduation when students enter the sports workplace.

Speaking in advance of the launch, Dr Noel Richardson, SSaMs programme lead IT Carlow, commented, “The publication of this SSaMs training resource represents a hugely important and innovative step forward in terms of using sport as a vehicle for mentoring boys and young men. I urge sports programme leaders everywhere to use the resource to enhance sports students mentoring skills in working with boys and young men.”

Keynote speaker at the event and award-winning social innovator and campaigner Ruairí McKiernan commented,  “I commend all the Erasmus+ partners for their sterling work in developing and piloting this important training resource. It's clear to me that this programme can make a real difference in equipping sports students with the tools to build and sustain meaningful connections with boys and young men. We live in challenging times and this is exactly the kind of work we need to be investing in. I hope to see the programme grow from strength to strength.”

For further information, contact:
Dr Noel Richardson            087 2860152