Popularization of Winter Sports in the Arabian, Iberian and Balkan Peninsulas

Being cognizant of the limited interest of people from ‘sunnier’ countries in winter sports, this project seeks to conduct a deeper enquiry into the motives of disinterest as well as tries to propose a platform for change in that regard. The project consists of two stages.

In its initial stage, the project will carefully evaluate the reasons behind the scant attention that winter sports receive from the people of Arabian, Iberian and Balkan backgrounds. To achieve that, a series of interviews with people concerned will be carried out. We will be particularly concerned with such issues as a lifestyle, financial situation, previous sporting experience, national sports and availability of sports facilities. Against that background, we will endeavour to establish how and in what measure these indicators have shaped the sports preferences of the respondents. A number of people taking part in the sample will also be invited to Oslo for the conference.

In the second, longer stage, the Institute of Science and Culture will aim to adequately contribute to the popularization of winter sports in the Arabian, Iberian and Balkan Peninsulas. This includes the establishment of contacts with all relevant stakeholders and creating an action plan. To the furthest possible extent, we will try to look into the opportunities of implementation of winter sports spirit to the regions concerned, which should be followed-up with offering some empirical experience to people. This could be done by interconnecting the winter and summer sports (snowboarding/surfing and rollerblading/skating) or opening new facilities (matting hills for ski-jumping). 

We are convinced that sport does not have political or geographical barriers and should be available to everyone. The benefits of the popularization of winter sports in hotter places are manifold, starting from health and ending at improving the medal statistics at the Winter Olympic Games.

Principal project investigators: Ana Leao, Vadym Gerashchenkov