2.13 meters, 7 foot or 84 inches – all of these numbers describe the height of Dirk Werner Nowitzki. Born in Würzburg in 1978, he always was a tall child. Following the footsteps of his very sports-minded family, he started to play tennis as well as handball. Being tired of theses sports, he eventually turned to play basketball.
At the age of 15, he was spotted by Holger Geschwindner, a German former international Basketball player. He coached him twice a week, being impressed by Nowitzki’s fast progress.
After doing well on a national level, he decided to take the next level and try to an international career – quite successful, as we can see today. Nowitzki is an internationally known name, he is the Mavs’ all-time leading scorer, he has named the NBA Finals most valuable player in 2011 as well as in 2007. He is a two-time FIBA Europe Player of the Year.
He is Dallas Mavericks all-time statistical leader in games, seasons, points, rebounds, blocks, field goals, three-point field goals, and free throws. He holds the record for most free-throws made in a single playoff season with 205 free-throws made in 2006. The list is endless.
Although retired today, he is still very well known in Germany, and quite popular as well. People like him because he seems very down-to-earth and kind.
He does a lot of charity work and spends time with his wife and children, but still engages in different kinds of sports. Being called the “German Wunderkind” (German prodigy), he continues to be a role model and idol for many young and aspiring athletes.
The text was written in October 2019.
Rebecca, 25 years old, from Germany and fortunately not anymore “the new one” in the Madeira Heritage voluntary program. Experienced and educated in social psychology, but still not able to read people’s minds. Passionate about (classical) music, interculturality, and other people.
Erasmus+ is a program of the European Commission embracing the fields of education, training, youth, and sports during the period 2014-2020. One of the major aspects is the cooperation between the different fields where the program acts, hence contributing for a diverse and rich Europe.
Amongst the several goals of the programme, the following are prioritised: the objectives of the Europe 2020 Strategy, including the headline education target; the aims of the strategic framework for European cooperation in education and training (ET 2020), including the corresponding benchmarks; the sustainable development of Partner Countries in the field of higher education; the overall goals of the renewed framework for European cooperation in the youth field (2010-2018); the objective of developing the European dimension in sport, in particular grassroots sport, in line with the EU work plan for sport and the promotion of European values in accordance with Article 2 of the Treaty on the European Union.
In order to achieve these goals, the Erasmus+ has several action policies. The Key Action 1 (KA1) is directed towards the mobility of people; Key Action 2 (KA2) for the cooperation for innovation and the interchange of good experiences; and Key Action 3 (KA3) which is for the support of reformation policies.
Since 1991 the University of Madeira Students’ Union has developed a wide incentive policy for voluntary work. In 2013 the Students’ Union started the process to receive, send and coordinate Erasmus+ projects of the European Voluntary Service, in order to have a larger influence in the volunteering field. The Union received its first volunteer withing the ambit of a KA1 project in 2014. Many efforts have been done to allow young people from Madeira to take part in several initiatives in Europe, as well as propose several projects allowing young people from several countries to work in the projects of the Students’ Union of the University of Madeira. The main goal of the voluntary work is the contribution of the volunteers to the communities and places they will be staying, being their work not rewarded with payment.
We believe that the European Voluntary Service is a mechanism full of experiences, allowing the approved candidates to have the privilege of taking part in these projects and benefit the places and communities where these volunteers will be staying.
Since 2013, the University of Madeira Students’ Union has received volunteers that have collaborated in several activities and initiatives. Besides being able to enjoy a wonderful experience which will contribute to their personal and professional growth, they are able to contribute in a unique way to the community in which they are inserted and to join dozens of volunteers from the University of Madeira.