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INN University cooperates with Lillehammer Municipality on Global Active City initiative

INN University cooperates with Lillehammer Municipality on Global Active City initiative

Korfball is a popular Dutch game, introduced to INN University’s Sport Management students by the Rotterdam University of Applied Sciences delegation. (Photo: Trine Løvold Syversen)

The Sport Management study programme at INN University combines practical experiential learning, international cooperation, and community involvement.

Early February, INN University’s programme in Sport Management hosted its annual visit from Rotterdam University of Applied Sciences (RUAS).

Each year the visit takes a different character, with a goal of combining a practical learning experience with an international one.

The programme in Sport Management – in line with INN University’s internationalization ambitions – puts great emphasis on the importance of including an international perspective in the curriculum, as well as social involvement.

Last year’s highly successful project, the first Lillehammer Generation Games, was an all-ages happening aimed at encouraging families to get active together. 

Among this year’s activities, the Dutch guests have introduced INN University’s students to the popular Dutch Game Korfball.

Meeting of cultures

- This is a Dutch invention, a game we play since childhood, and involves both sexes in the same team. It consists of four females and four males, on each team. The aim is to throw a ball into a basket mounted on a pole. There are currently over 500 Korfball clubs in the Netherlands, says RUAS student Koos Freriks. The game shares some similarities with basketball, but the equipment, the rules, and the teams’ composition are quite different.

The visiting students had the opportunity to see some of Norway, including Oslo and the Lillehammer area.

- The cold was a bit overwhelming, but the landscape is beautiful, adds Freriks.

The visit lasted approximately one week.

- The two key aspects of the visit for us, are exchanging knowledge and the cultural aspect. It was the first time for us introducing the game in this manner, and it is an important learning experience, beyond the mere enjoyment. The meeting of cultures is very fruitful for both sides. We are very grateful for the warm welcome by our Norwegian counterparts, says Dick Vierling, one of three staff members who accompanied the student delegation.

Community involvement and international ambitions

The Korfball initiative – as was the previous Generation Games project – is supported by Lillehammer Municipality, and as such is a part of an even bigger initiative. The Global Active City Development Project is led by The Association for International Sport for All ( TAFISA) and Evaleo, and “aims to establish a labelling and certification scheme based on an ISO-compatible standard, thus accrediting Active Cities that are doing a wondrous job worldwide.”

Lillehammer is currently a part of this pilot project, and is very eager to meet the criteria to be certified.

INN University is continuously playing a key role in the realization of this ambition, through ongoing cooperation with Lillehammer Municipality.

- INN University has an excellent history within physical activity development, as well as cooperation development. The students themselves contribute through anything from planning and marketing to organization of events. Lillehammer Municipality’s cooperation with INN University can be fruitful through offering the students relevant practice, stimulating students to undertake relevant research, and can be useful in terms of conceptualization and evaluation processes. A concrete cooperation is the most important thing. There is no limit to the positive results this cooperation can produce, says Bengt Fjeldbraaten from the department of Education Development and Culture at Lillehammer Municipality.

The annual common activity projects with RUAS thus fulfil a dual goal – strengthening international cooperation at INN University, as well as supporting Lillehammer Municipality’s Global Active City ambitions.