ASPIRE – the first year

The year 2017 is coming to an end. Consciously or unconsciously, we all tend to take account of what has happened throughout the year. Please allow the ASPIRE Project Coordinator Orsolya Tolnay to do the same with the ASPIRE project.

Before we would start, here is a short summary of the ASPIRE project:

ASPIRE has the main aim of offering suitable participation opportunities for migrants and refugees in and through sport, physical activity and play.

This aim can be best achieved by the development and implementation of a training module that is based on evidence and can support people involved in sport to adapt their existing activities to the specific context of refugees.

The training module will enhance the skills and competences of people involved in sport in the area of migration, intercultural dialogue, psycho-social aspects of inclusive coaching and accessible sports organisations.

The implementation of the training module will take place through the organisation of training sessions in nine countries (Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Finland, Germany, Greece, Serbia, Spain and Sweden).

A Pan-European conference in the summer of 2019 will mark the end of the project and disseminate the project results to a wider audience.

Taking account of the first year, we could take a closer look at the events and project activities that have fallen in the year of 2017, namely the Kick-off and the first Steering Committee and Project Team meetings, the development of brand identity, research, the development of the training module as well as communication and dissemination activities.


Although the Kick-off on 8-9 February 2017 in Brussels, Belgium, marked the official launch of the project, busy preparations had preceded the meeting. The Kick-off served as an introduction to the project as well as to the partners, during which consortium members have got familiar with their partners as well as their roles.


In the first half of the year, ICSSPE – the International Council of Sport Science and Physical Education, has undertaken research that resulted in the ASPIRE Delphi Survey, the definition of key terms and a literature review.

Katrin Koenen and Richard Bailey from ICSSPE have carried out a needs assessment with the help of a Delphi survey, investigating in which areas there are the greatest needs for support for those using sport with refugees. They also defined thirteen strategies that represent best practice in engaging refugees through sport clubs.

"In the name of the ASPIRE Consortium, I would again like to take the opportunity to express our acknowledgment to the participants of the Delphi study for their outstanding contribution." - said Orsolya Tolnay.

In order to avoid unnecessary misunderstanding and confusion among project partners, ICSSPE has also come up with the definition of key terms. An important innovation worth to mention is the definition of accessibility, which led to a unique working definition of accessible activity, sport and play.

The third element of the research is the ASPIRE Literature Review that consists of a rapid review search and a narrative review on the state of immigration in Europe and the potential of sport as a context to helping immigrants.

Development of brand identity

Parallel to the research, ASPIRE as a brand has come to existence. We have developed a logo, a website, email signature, word template, social media banners as well as a flyer. We have also set up the Facebook page ASPIREsportEU and started to use the Twitter hashtag #ASPIREsportEU.

For hands-on updates from our ASPIRE community, please visit www.aspiresport.eu and follow us on social media.

Steering Committee meeting

The Steering Committee meeting on 7-8 June 2017 in Paris, France, meant the first major milestone of the project. It drew conclusions from the outcomes of the research, incorporating the findings into the upcoming project activity: the development of the ASPIRE training module, related to which fundamental concepts and questions were also clarified. The meeting also concluded with a timeline for the training module writers, so another phase of common work and co-operation could begin that will last until summer 2018.

Development of the training module

The training module consist of four chapters, in the development of which the following partners are participating: Katrin Koenen and Richard Bailey from ICSSPE, Anna Stugovschchikova from DOSB – the German Olympic and Sport Federation, Thomas Jaeger from Caritas Academy Styria, Austria, and Lillemor Lindell from RF –the Swedish Sports Confederation.

Since summer 2017, the ENGSO team has defined the general structure of the training module and provided guidance for writers, who have tailor-made each chapters’ structure, based on their specific topics, and finalised the chapters’ contents. They have also started to develop the actual text under the coordination of the Work Package Leader, Sallie Barker.

Project Team meeting

On 26-27 October 2017 in Barcelona, Spain, all 13-project partners had the chance to get an insight into the actual contents of the training module chapters as well as to plan the upcoming project activities, that is to say the testing of the training module and the organisation of training sessions, taking place respectively from March and July 2018.

Communication and dissemination

Last but not least, our communication and dissemination activities are worth to mention. In 2017, the ASPIRE project has been presented at nine events with a total of 280 participants. Apart from ASPIRE’s own communication tools that has reached around 800 people, four partners websites and social media sites (ENGSO, EOSE, DOSB and UFEC) communicated regularly about the project with a total number of 200 000 followers. In addition, four newsletters (ENGSO, DOSB, Sport Flanders Agency and UFEC) with around 7000 subscribers have published articles about the project.

We have also received six letters of support from Brussels, Germany, the Netherlands and the USA.

As a conclusion, the ASPIRE communication and dissemination activities in 2017 have reached around 206 000 people from all around the world.


"All in all, the ASPIRE consortium is closing the first year with major success. The project is running as planned, even towering above expectations. Our achievements are to be thanked to the dedicated and diligent work and the excellent co-operation of all partners. To be continued in 2018!" - said Orsolya Tolnay, summing up the activities of the ASPIRE project team in 2017.

#ASPIREsport #ASPIREsport #OrsolyaTolnay #ICSSPE #KatrinKoenen