The review from local news paper -
''In Madona region will be explored the traditional games''
Yesterday began "Outdoor sports and recreation education summer school 2010", which
will last until Thursday. The summer school is attended by academic staff from higher
education institutions and students from Latvia and Poland. Their main task is through
interviewing elder people, find out about the games that have ever been played in Madona
— Today begins our summer school. Two states - Latvia and Poland – are involved in it.
Our goal is to prepare the questionnaires, questions to begin on Tuesday our journey in
Madona surroundings and interview elderly people about what games they have played in
their childhood and youth.
The final result is going to be publishing a book, meant for physical education teachers,
coaches, classroom teachers, and it will be issued in three languages - Latvian, Polish and
English. We are going to record also DVD with interviews. On Thursday afternoon the
participants will have to show previously prepared game, which they have learnt during
this week- yesterday told Juris Grants, vice-rector of Research of the Latvian Academy of
Sport Education (LASE).
The project is organized by LASE, Latvian Recreation Education association in cooperation
with Joseph Pilsudski University of Physical Education and State College of Computer
Science and Business Administration in Lomza. At school works teaching staff both from
Poland and Latvia, and participate students from both countries. Participating in school is
part of study Program, and the students will receive credit points for this activity.
In Latvija — for the first time
Participants of Summer School have planned to go to Cesvaine, Kusa, hill Gaiziņkalns, etc.
taking into consideration that some of the participants - Edgars Bernāns, Arnis Šmugais un
Juris Grants - come from this region, they already know some families, which could be
addressed with these questions.
Kalvis Ciekurs, MPaed of Latvian Academy of Sport Education commented: - In other
countries such schools are organized rather often and a lot. I have been in Czech Republic,
where these games are very topical. They already have been collected in a thick book;
people use them in real life – both teachers and simple inhabitants, who are interested in
doing something. Therefore I wanted to engage in getting to know Latvian games. In
every hamlet, every civil parish games are a lot, and they have different features. This
time we have begun with Vidzeme, but further we could try interviewing people also in
other districts of Latvia. This stage is sort of beginning, in which we learn, how to do
something like that, because in Latvia we have not had similar activities before. This is
completely new experience both for participants and teaching staff – learning games from
local people. Moreover, these are not only games, but historical heritage, which, I guess,
every nation should treat as important. Young people nowadays are sitting at home,
immersed in computers, TV sets, but we in our adolescence were chasing through forests
and fields, and these games will disappear over time if they are not shown to people.
This is also one of the aims of Summer School - re-raise them. Having been asked why exactly
Madona district has been chosen as place for interviewing people, Kalvis Ciekurs praised
the region as very creative:
- There take place topical sports activities, from these surroundings come many talented
and prominent personalities. Here we feel also people responsiveness, so there is a hope
for good result.
National traditions should be appreciated
With his experience in collecting games can help associated professor Christoph Piech from
Josef Pilsudski University of Physical Education in Poland, because in Poland he has
travelled a lot, and talked with locals and residents in nursing homes, collecting traditional
— I have written several articles about the theme. I also enjoy giving my students
homework: talk to your grandparents, interview them at first. Thus we obtain information,
which is even broader; we could write about our games, showing that they are similar to
games in other countries. In Africa, for example, there exists a game with the same
regulations as in Poland, only the equipment is different, and, of course, the title. I am
interested in this aspect, therefore during my visit in Latvia I hope to get to know
something new. Later on I would like to organize festival, in which these games can be
organized. Similar experience is abroad, where in many places festival is organized in such
a way, that participants should cycle on their bikes, and along the route there are places,
where these games are held. It is interesting to make a remark that in Poland and Russia
very popular was a game, which has been taken to America, where, having changed some
of the rules, it has turned into baseball. This is only a theory, which is not confirmed, but it
shows how interesting can be the exploration of games and their origins,- emphasized
Ivars Kravalis, LASE associated professor added: - I would compare the ongoing with the
collecting of folk songs, because games also are cultural heritage, but in this case, they
will be collected by the group of summer school participants. Nowadays, when we live in a
multicultural society, it is however, important to maintain individuality, one’s own values.
Each country should appreciate its national traditions, take care about them and keep to
The other summer school participants did not hide that one of the main reasons for the
participation was a chance to see a new city, for the visitors from Poland - another country
and culture. For example, Pavel and Monika from Poland beforehand have heard good
news about Latvia, which raised their interest: - We had heard that Latvia is a beautiful
country, so couldn’t miss the opportunity to look at it with our own eyes. We are not
disappointed. We enjoyed Riga, and Madona seems to be a very beautiful city. Monika in
Poland works with young children, trying to engage them in all kinds of activities, so new
experience about games and sportive activities outdoors will be extremely useful for her.
Mētra, RTU student, in her turn, was eager to learn about other cities and get engaged in
an activity, which is not part of daily routine. Dagnija agreed: - Summer school attracted
me with its originality, as previously nothing similar has been heard about. I am very glad
that it is held not in Riga, but in Madona, because it has a beautiful and rich neighborhood.
I come from Lubāna. I am a student of Latvian Academy of Sport Education, this year I will
launch my postgraduate studies.
It seems that already at present creative and attractive spark of Summer School yields
results – thinks LASE pedagogue, MPaed Inta Bula-Biteniece: - at Latvian Academy of
Sport Education I conduct study course ―Games‖, meant for physical education teachers to
be played in the classes, but unfortunately they are very traditional. But I believe that
students should be given a chance to list through old books, they should be advised to
speak about the games with their grandparents, thus making learning process in the
Academy more interesting. In Summer School very soon I was struck by an idea, what
creative sparkle can be lit in my classes. I've asked about childhood games also my
grandmother, but she, unfortunately, all the time had to work. Therefore I was also
interested to go to Madona district, get to know local people, especially because I myself
come from another part of Latvia: Kurzeme.
Author: LAURA VOITIŅA
Photo: OĻĢERTs SKUJA
www.estars.lv 03.03.2011 13:39