The Mind Body Boost (MBB) programme had its final transnational meeting on Wednesday, 6th of December. Hosted by project leaders, Trinity College Dublin, members from each of the seven partner institutions were invited to Dublin for two days of presentations and local activities. The agenda was designed to reflect on the results of the program, as it has met the end of its funding from the European Commission under the Erasmus + Sport programme. On the back of its success and positive response from student participants, the Mind Body Boost project aims to have a continued impact and expand to other third level institutions.

The project was co-funded by the European Commission under the Erasmus+ Sport programme ‘to encourage social inclusion and equal opportunities in sport’. The aim of the Mind Body Boost project is to facilitate access to students who have low levels of physical activity and mental health issues, who for whatever reason through personal difficulties or other obstacles, have limited opportunity or have been prevented from taking part in sport.

“Mind, Body, Boost is one of the most amazing positively impactful projects we have ever run, from ideation to implementation the journey has been incredible. I am so proud of the team for its successful delivery and for the students who have benefited from the experience. It has been a highlight of my professional career, to date, we have ambitions to grow this project further, so watch this space. I would like to thank all our colleagues in Trinity for their support for the project, please get in touch if you wish to know more.” Michelle Tanner, Director of Sport and Physical Activity, Trinity College Dublin.

The Mind Body Boost programme is an evidence-based intervention addressing social isolation, poor lifestyle balance, mental health difficulties and low levels of physical activity in students. Students selected for MBB participate in 6-weeks of mental well-being sessions coupled with physical activity sessions all delivered in small groups. By the end of the programme students are equipped with the tools to maintain a healthy and active lifestyle. Additionally, students build social connections with their MBB peers and instructors. Mind Body Boost instructor, and project co-ordinator at Trinity Sport, Daniel Twomey, explains: “We need to be very effective in our teaching, post the six-week programme we need to be confident that these students can look after themselves”.

“The work we do here in Trinity, and with our partners in the community, across the country and via projects like ‘Mind, Body, Boost at European level, are critically important to ensuring that our universities are places of wellbeing, places where people can thrive, places where people can flourish – regardless of the walk of life that they come from, and this is core to the brilliant work that the ‘Mind, Body, Boost project has been doing.” Lorraine Leeson, Associate Vice Provost for Equality, Diversity and Inclusion and Professor in Deaf Studies, Trinity College Dublin.

The success of the programme is indisputable: almost 80% of student participants reported a positive change in their health behaviours after completion of the programme. Over 90% of participants reported positive responses to the Mind Body Boost programme delivery, with accessibility, support and programme effectiveness receiving high praise. Over 85% of participants found the programme content aligned to their needs, reflecting the programme’s ability to engage and serve its target audience. After three years, Mind Body Boost worked with 379 students across 21 interventions in seven European institutions.

  “It is my hope that the ‘Mind, Body, Boost’ programme serves as a blueprint for third level institutions both nationally and internationally allowing them to create healthier, happier, and more engaged student communities. I extend my thanks and gratitude to all those who have contributed to the ‘Mind, Body, Boost’ programme including project lead Trinity College Dublin and partners the University of Galway, University of Stirling, University of Limerick, European University of Lisbon, The Technical University of Munich, Vilnius University and ‘It’s Great Out There’ coalition.” Richard Porter, Dean of Students, Trinity College Dublin.

It was through a collaborative approach that all partners exchanged ideas and best practices which contributed to the success of the programme. Members from each institution attended the final meeting to celebrate the wrap-up of the programme. See the Mind Body Boost website for more information on the programme.

See below for a poem recited by Lorraine Leeson, Associate Vice Provost for Equality, Diversity and Inclusion and Professor in Deaf Studies, Trinity College Dublin, at the conclusion of the Mind, Body, Boost.

The Sustainable Journey by Gabriel Cruz

A physical fitness program that’s sustainable,
Is one that’s built to last,
It’s not a fad or a quick fix,
But a journey that’s been cast.

For fitness is a way of life,
Not just a temporary phase,
And to achieve true health and wellness,
It’s a habit we must embrace.

So let us build a program,
That’s tailored to our needs,
A plan that’s filled with challenge,
But not one that only leads

To burnout, stress, and injury,
But rather one that’s kind,
One that promotes sustainability,
And a healthy body and mind.”