For the first phase of the project, Materahub - the Italian partner of ENTOS - researched the relationship between sport and entrepreneurship in Italy. High school students and PE teachers from public instructions contributed to the research by taking part in surveys, and analysis of the national education context, as well as examples of good initiatives in the non-formal education sector, gave an insight on how is entrepreneurship approached through sport in the country.
A unanimous enthusiasm was highlighted in the surveys from both students and PE teachers who recognise the importance of entrepreneurial skills for professional, personal, and general life development, and the value that they could add to PE classes. The results also revealed a general lack of knowledge about entrepreneurship, a concept that remains associated with the world of business. Indeed, students and teachers majoritarily answered that reflections on entrepreneurial skills are rarely mentioned during the PE lessons. When presented skills that can be identified with sport tactics and strategies such as “mobilising resources” and “setting goals and identifying opportunities”, both teachers and students gave a surprisingly low score. However, skills that can be considered more “social”, and are often associated with sports values, scored a 100% from both parties (“social inclusion”, “self-awareness and self-efficacy”, “motivation and perseverance”, “working with others”). These contrasting results put to light a general phenomenon of disassociation as teachers and students fail to connect skills with more business-like terms to the activities done during PE lessons. With PE teachers showing motivation towards getting more training on the topic, and the Minister of Education leading a reform that intends to build a new “PE National Curriculum” and will add one more hour of PE class to the weekly schedule of secondary school students, encouraging steps are being taken to reconcile the concept of entrepreneurship with physical education in the formal education sector.
A need for recognition of the entrepreneurial skills gained through the sport that has been anticipated in non-formal education. Several Erasmus+ funded projects involving Italian partners are examples of good initiatives with “Sport is the Way”, a project that created a guidebook for disadvantaged youth on the entrepreneurial attitudes developed through sport; “Outdoor Academy” (Milan), a project gathering experts, sports trainers and youth workers to create an outdoor education program and handbook; and “Aftermatch - Life Beyond Sport”(Rome), focusing on transferring skills acquired during sports careers to the labour market.
Journal of Physical Education & Health, 2012, vol. 1 (2), 37-41 Physical and Sport Education in Italy:
European Physical Education Association: https://eupea.com/
Aftermatch project: http://www.aftermatch.net/activities/
Sport is the Way project:
Outdoor Academy project: https://ormasite.it/orma-outdoor-academy/