The It’s Great Out There Coalition (IGOTC) has announced details of the first projects that will benefit from its grants programme in 2020. Two #itsgreatouthere grants will boost projects that will introduce young people to the outdoors for the first time – an initiative run through a partnership between Le CREPS de Vallon Pont d’Arc and outdoor brand Ternua and a scheme organised by En Passant par la Montagne and French trade association Outdoor Sports Valley (OSV).
The IGOTC is an International Non Profit Association (INPA), registered in Brussels, and set up and launched by the European Outdoor Group (EOG). Run by an executive team and non-executive board, the coalition is leading a pan-European consumer facing campaign to inspire more people to get active in the outdoors.
It’s funded by membership fees from some of the biggest outdoor businesses in Europe. It also works closely with European Commission in Brussels (with the EOG), helping to represent the outdoor sector to policymakers and seeking to secure European funding for key community-led projects designed to inspire more European citizens to get active.
Launched in 2017, the grants programme supports grassroots projects which have primarily been developed to take new participants into the outdoors. Any non-profit organisation can apply for a grant of between €1,000 and €5,000. The IGOTC encourages potential applicants to team up with partners from the outdoor industry such as brands, retailers and activity providers, especially those who are already members of the coalition.
A priority is to support applications that will help young people access the outdoors for the first time, particularly those who are based in the inner cities or live in circumstances that make it difficult to get to the hills and mountains. Before the latest awards, #itsgreatoutthere grants had supported 17 projects, directly benefiting 5,260 people.
For several years, CREPS de Vallon Pont d’Arc (CREPS are local centres for sports development located throughout France) has been working in close collaboration with the local Mission of Aubenas, in order to give young people on the fringes of the education system opportunities to explore nature and take part in outdoor activities.
Last year, working closely with IGOTC member Ternua, the CREPS project team successfully delivered three days of outdoor activities to young people who had never experienced them before. These included kayaking, via ferrata, bivouacking around a campfire, mountain biking and canyoning. The project was a big success and the partners applied for another grant to sustain it in 2020 and introduce more youngsters to the outdoors.
Margo de Lange, policy officer for the It’s Great Out There Coalition, said, “Each project that we have supported so far has led to profound and positive impacts for the thousands of young participants who have benefitted. Thanks to the partners involved, we’re confident that our first two grants of 2020 will also make a huge difference for those involved. This is just the start of another busy year of activation for our campaign. We will be awarding more grants soon and have some other exciting initiatives in the pipeline.”
Applications for the next round of #itsgreatoutthere grants will open on 1 July.