ASPIRE Project Partners discuss state of play and next steps

On October 26-27, the 1st partners meeting of the ASPIRE project took place in Barcelona, hosted by the Catalonian Union of Sports Federations (UFEC). The meeting gathered together all 13 project partners, who had the chance to finalise the content of the training module as well as plan the upcoming testing of the training module and organisation of training sessions.

Participants were also able to review the research carried out by the International Council of Sport Science and Physical Education (ICSSPE) and turn this research into a well and solidly planned educational module, which is to be disseminated during national training sessions from June 2018 to April 2019.

The project partners had interactive discussions, including clarification on the content of the training module, the risk assessment of management in different phases of the project, the testing of the training module, as well as the preparation and coordination of the national training.

A Syrian refugee-athlete in Barcelona, Almohannad Alabed Almohsen also attended the meeting, who is also a participant of UFEC’s INSERsport Programme. Almohannad not only presented his experience how sport has helped him to accommodate into his host country, but also provided important input to the planned activities. Through the INSERsport Programme of UFEC, young people at risk of social exclusion, such as Almohannad, learn to play a sport, acquire healthy habits and obtain a federal qualification that allows them to work as referees or coaches.

ASPIRE Research Leader and Steering Committee Member from ICSSPE, Katrin Koenen 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 are especially proud of 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. We look forward to the next steps!"

Co-funded by the ERASMUS+ programme and supported by the European Lotteries Association, the ASPIRE project, led by ENGSO, seeks to make sport clubs in Europe more inclusive to refugees and asylum seekers. The network of partners includes the Council of Europe, ICSSPE, the Caritas Academy of Styria, the Minor-Ndako centre for unaccompanied minor refugees and a wide range of national sport and governmental organisations. Through the different communication platforms, the project has already reached more than 200,000 people.

A Photogallery of the event you find here.

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