What is VANGUARD?
Virtual Advice, Nurturing, Guidance on Universal Action, Research and Development for physical activity and sport engagement.
VANGUARD is a European Union Erasmus+ Programme funded project aiming to develop and implement undergraduate training in health-enhancing physical activity (HEPA) for frontline health professionals, in order to promote physical activity and better health outcomes of European citizens.
HEPA training for health professionals is recommended by the European Commission (European Union Physical Activity Guidelines), by the Council of the European Union (Council Recommendation of 26 November 2013 on promoting HEPA across sectors) and by the World Health Organization (WHO physical activity strategy for the WHO European Region 2016–2025, WHO global action plan on physical activity 2018–2030, and WHO “best buys” for the prevention and control of noncommunicable diseases).
VANGUARD involves institutions from six European countries:
- United Kingdom – University of Wolverhampton;
- Greece – University of Thessaly;
- Portugal – Institute of Public Health of the University of Porto;
- France – Université Côte D’Azur;
- Lithuania – Vilnius University;
- Estonia – University of Tartu.
How is it being implemented?
Methods to accomplish the project objectives are bespoke to each country context and Medical Schools’ constraints.
VANGUARD project objectives are:
- To embed physical activity in the undergraduate curricula of future frontline healthcare professionals (medical doctors and allied health professions) in six European countries to help promote and sustain health;
- To foster meaningful collaborative partnerships in the implementation, methodology and evaluation of physical activity in the EU curricula of future frontline healthcare professionals and local physical activity / sport grass roots opportunities;
- To develop an at scale approach, led by future healthcare professionals, in the critical role of physical activity / sport in the prevention and treatment of NCDs, in pregnancy and perioperatively at the practice level;
- To develop a universal manual for European countries on how to successfully develop and systematically implement bespoke physical activity knowledge and competencies in curricula of future frontline healthcare professionals;
- To provide an EU-wide and international e-platform for nurturing clinical and strategic leadership across all partners in physical activity / sport brief intervention, advocacy and influence.