Trinity College Dublin’s Sports Department has received a major financial boost from Europe.

The Trinity Sport led project ‘Mind, Body, Boost’ has been awarded €391,675 in funding from the EU Commission’s Erasmus+ Sport 2020 programme under the ‘collaborative partnerships action’ category.

The Mind, Body, Boost project will be a European collaboration of partners, in support of EU strategies in the areas of social inclusion and equal opportunities.

The aim of the ‘Mind, Body, Boost’ project is to encourage inclusivity and equality through sport by creating a safe health and fitness environment for third level students who need physical and mental health support.

Mind, Body, Boost is a practical intervention programme and will be delivered by experts in sport and student counselling services. The programme uses the proven anti-depressant effects of exercise to prevent the development of serious mental health issues.

The 6-week custom-designed fitness and mental programme will include mindfulness skills training, group inclusivity work, challenging physical activities and psychological support tools while also addressing societal issues of social isolation and stress management.

“The funding will enable us and other third-level institutions in Ireland and across Europe to collaborate and deliver this project on our campuses, improving the physical and mental health of more students,” said project lead Michelle Tanner, Head of Sport and Recreation at Trinity College Dublin.

“We believe in the power of this project to connect students, boost their health and it couldn’t be timelier to achieve the backing of the EU now as we endure increased physical and mental health challenges during the pandemic. Thank you to all our colleagues for their continued support and we look forward to working with all our partners.”

The ‘Mind, Body, Boost’ project has already been piloted successfully in Trinity College Dublin and the National University of Galway (NUIG) with third level students reporting that the project had positively impacted their lives. Students who reported beforehand that they had suffered from social isolation had now made friends and really enjoyed learning together in a group. Almost all students said that the project improved their motivation and confidence to engage in regular physical activity.

The ‘Mind, Body, Boost’ project will be delivered in five phases over thirty-six months from September 2021. It will also be adapted to take into account any future restrictions as a result of the pandemic. The project partners including Trinity College Dublin (project lead); National University of Ireland, Galway; University of Stirling, Scotland; University of Limerick; European University of Lisbon, Portugal; The Technical University of Munich (TUM), Germany; Vilnius University, Lithuania and ‘It’s Great Out There Coalition’, Belgium will commence planning of the intervention programme in January 2021.

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