Inclusive Sport Programmes for Refugees

Piloting of New Training Modules About to Begin
11/22/2017 11:58

Inclusive training modules, which will provide inclusive sport programmes for local populations, refugees and migrants for various ability levels, are about to be piloted across Europe.


This is another initiative involving ICSSPE which shall provide improved opportunities for people like Almohannad Alabed Almohsen to participate in sport programmes of local sport clubs. It is called ‘ASPIRE’, which stands for ‘Activity, Sport and Play for the Inclusion of Refugees in Europe’.


Almohannad is a Syrian refugee and athlete. He participates in a programme run by the Catalonian Union of Sports Federations (UFEC) in Barcelona, Spain. Through the INSERsport Programme of UFEC, young people at risk of social exclusion, such as Almohannad, play a sport, acquire healthy habits and obtain a federal qualification that allows them to work as referees or coaches. 


The ASPIRE Project Team, composed of leading European sport organisations, is currently developing training modules to help coaches include refugees in their clubs. During their meeting they listened carefully to Almohannad who did not only speak about his experience of how sport has helped him to accommodate in his host country, but who also provided important input for the planned activities.


The Aspire project uses this valuable information to design the training modules which will be made available for sport clubs around the European Union. But they are also based on research carried out by ICSSPE, as well as on the experience collected from various national sport bodies. The piloting of the training material shall take place between June 2018 and April 2019.


Katrin Koenen, ICSSPE Director for Scientific Affairs and project member, states: “We are pleased that the ASPIRE Research not only gathered evidence and revealed important strategies that represent best practice in engaging refugees through sports clubs; our findings have been incorporated into the development of the ASPIRE training module. We in ICSSPE especially appreciate the innovative notion of accessibility, which led to a unique working definition of accessible activity, sport and play. I am sure the project will have a lasting impact on both making sport clubs more inclusive in Europe, but also feeding the relevant policy dialogue.”


Co-funded by the ERASMUS+ programme and supported by the European Lotteries Association, the ASPIRE project, led by the European Non-Governmental Sports Organisation, seeks to make sport clubs in Europe more inclusive towards refugees and asylum seekers. The network of partners includes ICSSPE, the Council of Europe, the Caritas Academy of Styria, the Minor-Ndako centre for Unaccompanied Minor Refugees and a number of national sport and governmental organisations. Through the various communication platforms, the project has already reached more than 200,000 people. The most recent meeting took place from 26th to 27th October 2017.


More information can be found under here.