2022 MPA Nominee – Centre Excursionista de Catalunya (CEC)
The Activities Plan is the annual proposal of all the activities and sports events organized by the Centre Excursionista de Catalunya (CEC), for all ages and over a year (September – August), carried out by volunteers and professionals all together with the will to:
1) Bring citizenship closer to nature and mountain areas in a safe, organised way and with the necessary training supported by the club’s Mountain School.
2) Facilitate access to sporting practice in the whole Catalan territory, collectively and in a shared sustainable manner, and maintaining its continuity along the season as a public heath measure.
3) Promote knowledge and appreciation of natural, cultural and scientific heritage to all Catalan citizenship, ensuring its valuation and preservation.
The Activities Plan has around 600 programmed activities from different sports modalities, including sporting events, every season, and it has about 4000 registrations from associate members and general public along the year.
Vision, goals and objectives
The Activities Plan has the following features:
– It has a transversal orientation, i.e. it applies to all types of activity of the club (sports, cultural, and scientific activities).
– It’s progressive along the year. It allows different levels of competence/ability to be acquired within a sporting mode, thanks to different activities with progressive difficulty.
– It’s tied to the territory. Most activities are carried out within the Catalan territory and allow relations to be taken with other economic actors in the country to search for synergies.
– It’s formative. The Activities Plan make mountaineering training available to voluntary people who carry out activities, with a series of free training capsules so that they can carry out their voluntary accompanying task safely and effectively. These training capsules are carried out by professional sports technicians from the Mountain School of the club. Some of these capsules are related with first aid training, avalanche training, group leadership training, mountain orientation training, etc.
– It promotes security. The Activities Plan has a regulatory compliance tool, called the Risks Map, through which each physical activity in natural environment is technically validated prior to its performance by the club’s sports technical direction, reviewing the technical difficulty and objective dangers, necessary material and recommended training of the Mountain School in order to minimise risk exposure.
– The Activities Plan aims to have a calendar format, through which the activity of the club can be disseminated to other users and the public in general. In this way, it is intended to properly organise the club’s activity and for all people to be able to know in advance what is going to happen all over the year.
– The Activities Plan envisages different activity themes through the organisation of activity cycles. In this sense, each sporting modality has its activity cycles, which are formed by activities that share the same theme. For example, the cycle of excursions along the GR97 (from the hiking modality) or the cycle of high-mountain summer ascents, etc.
– The Activities Plan covers some of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals such as, for example, what refers to transportation by using public or shared transport to move around to perform activities (train, bus, etc.) Work can also be done on the care of the environment, by proposing waste collection activities in rural areas. In achieving some of these goals we collaborate with other companies or organisations. The club has a Bureau Veritas certification on UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.
Expected implementation and outcomes
The Action Plan has the following implementation phases:
During May the club draws up the annual calendar of activities, determines the activities to be enhanced and sets the number of thematic cycles, activities and events that will take place throughout the year within each sporting modality. In this first phase, the club sets the dates of sporting events, and the number of thematic cycles and activities.
During June the club convenes a series of weekly meetings with the voluntary people of the club, who have an interest in organizing outdoor activities, in order to present them the annual calendar with the number of activities to be achieved throughout the year and agree with them on the subject of the thematic cycles.
Some of these meetings are attended by the Mountain School of the club, in order to present the programming of free training capsules to the most involved voluntary people in the Plan, and try to seek complicity with some volunteers to facilitate the continuity of people taking Mountain School courses and want to do outdoor activities.
July and August 2022
During the months of July and August volunteers send us cycle proposals and the dates of each activity they will carry out, in order to build the annual calendar. On the other hand, in the month of August the Activities Plan of the present season 2021-2022 ends.
At the beginning of September, the period to receive new cycle proposals and dates from voluntary people is closed. This month is also used to elaborate the communicative material that will be used to present the Activities Plan to voluntary people, the associated members of the club and the general public. The presentation to the voluntary people of the club will take place on 15 September.
On 6th October, will take place the presentation of the Activities Plan to the associated members of the club and the general public so they can know in advance what activities will be organised throughout the season.
October 2022 in May 2023
During the main months of the season a quantitative and qualitative Activities Plan follow-up is carried out.
In the quantitative sense, several indicators are analysed to assess whether initially programmed activities are actually performed. In the qualitative sense, frequent contact is being made with the voluntary people who coordinate the cycles of activity, so that the dates agreed during the processing phase are met and incidents resolved if necessary.
As a numerical target, the Activities Plan 2022-2023 aims to perform about 600 activities organised in 40-45 thematic cycles between September and August, for all ages and levels.
Climbing, mountaineering or outdoor sport focus
The Activities Plan is orientated at promoting physical and sporting activities in the natural environment as a means of public health promotion. It covers activities for all ages, from children to youngsters, adults, families and veterans.
In this sense the Activities Plan has a total of 13 different sports modalities through which the cycles of thematic activities are organised with the help of volunteers and professionals of the club. These sporting modalities include:
Terrestrial sport modalities:
– Hiking in high mountain environments
– Nordic walking
– Trail running
– Mountain biking and cyclotourism
– Mountain skiing
– Nordic skiing
– Alpine skiing
Semi-aerial sport modalities:
– Via ferrata/Climbing
Water sport modalities:
– Water walking
In addition to that, the club directly organises eight sporting events throughout the year within the Activities Plan. These sporting events are also held with the help of volunteers from the club and professionals as well.
These events are the following:
– Collserola’s Race: A competitive trail running event in the Natural Park of Collserola, next to Barcelona.
– Mountain Skiing Rally and Mountain Skiing Walk: These two events take places in the Aran Valley, within the National Park of Aigüestortes and Estany de Sant Maurici. The first event is competitive and the other is not.
– AquaCEC: A Water walking event on the beach of Castelldefels. It has a competitive race and a non-competitive race.
– NordiCEC: Uncompetitive Nordic walking event in the Natural Park of Collserola, next to Barcelona.
– RodaCEC: Uncompetitive bicycle event in a particular place in Catalonia.
– BoulderFest: Competitive indoor climbing event in the club’s boulder.
– Geo-gymkhana: Uncompetitive event to know the geology of a particular spot of Catalonia while hiking.
– To Open Field: A fortnight camp for families located in the Pyrenees and the Alps. For fifteen days, activities are carried out by voluntary people, but also by qualified sports technicians from the club: canyoning, alpinism, vias ferratas, etc.
Apart from the events mentioned above, the club also collaborates, through the Activities Plan, with other sporting events organised by other organisations. For example, the Magic Line, consisting of a solidarity hiking to raise funds for the Social Work of Sant Joan de Déu, intended to help vulnerable people.
Finally, as mentioned in another question above, the Activities Plan is directly coordinated with the Mountain School of the club to provide the necessary training for voluntary people who coordinate activities, so that they can perform their voluntary work in a safe and effective manner.
Best practice in mountaineering and mountain-based sports for mountain protection
The Activities Plan promotes the care of the environment through the organisation of activities in which is intended to reduce the use of private transport for transportation. In such cases, the club is in charge of contacting transport companies to book shared transport. In other cases, this action is not required because using public transport is enough, mainly the train, but also sometimes the regular bus line.
These activities with public transport or shared transport are agreed with the voluntary people during the preparation of each season’s Activities Plan, as one of the main aims of the club is to promote sustainability in all its activities.
On the other hand, the Activities Plan has a guideline of sustainable actions to perform during activities in the natural environment. These actions are available to voluntary people who organise activities and are based on the Sustainable Development Goals of the UN. These actions include the use of public or shared transport, the use of reusable materials regarding food, the care of the own waste itself, the collection of the garbage we find in nature, also issues relating to food consumption and purchase, etc.
In addition to that, it is important to mention that the entity has been audited by the Bureau Veritas certification company in relation to the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.
Regarding sporting events in the Activities Plan we also pursue a sustainable policy in relation to different aspects of the organisation. We avoid using single-use packaging, we promote separate waste collection among participants, we enable different waste collection points (recycling), we encourage participants to carry a reusable container to fill during the provisioning, we ensure that the location of events is accessible with public transport, we avoid reducing food surpluses in the provisioning, we avoid using too much plastics for food (primarily we consume fresh and dried fruit), we make sure that gifts are made from sustainable or recycled materials, etc.
On the other hand, and in order to achieve these sustainable objectives, within the Activities Plan, we also seek to ensure that there are collaborative activities with other entities, organisations, municipalities … in relation to the care of the environment. The idea is trying to build up synergies to work together on this environmental theme that affects us all.
To discover more about the UIAA Mountain Protection Award please click here.
Please note that the content published in this article is courtesy of the Award nominee. The UIAA has made minor revisions to the original submission.