In September, the ASPIRE project started its final phase with the implementation of national training sessions with two events hosted in Serbia and in Sweden. After a research phase and the elaboration of the training module designed for coaches and stakeholders in the sport sector, the project would like to share, throughout its partners’ network, the findings and methods to ensure the social inclusion of refugees through sport on a grassroots level.
The sessions are composed of a theoretical background and some exercises and they are gathering different stakeholders and role models to encourage sport organisations to be more inclusive. The ASPIRE project team will develop and implement seven more sessions throughout Europe, notably in Finland, Greece, Germany, Belgium, Austria, Bulgaria and Spain.
The inaugural training course took place on 11th September at the Sports Centre of the Football Association of Serbia. Teachers, sports coaches, interpreters as well as social and aid workers participated in a combination of physical activities, martial arts, creative arts and discussions. Recurring themes included the challenges facing immigrant children entering Europe, intercultural dialogue, psychological and social support.
Orsolya Tolnay, project manager of ASPIRE was very satisfied with this first session:
“I am glad I had the opportunity to participate in this historic first-ever ASPIRE training session, and see our developments in practice. It has been inspiring to meet these local heroes, who dedicate their lives daily to children’s well-being, and it is interesting to learn how they can use ASPIRE to support the needs of refugee children.”
Participants of the first training session in Belgrade
The second training session was held in Stockholm on the 25th of September. At this session Anna Strugovshchikova from the German Olympic Sports Confederation (DOSB) gave a presentation through Skype and talked about DOSB’s structure and its inclusion policy. This training session focused on the intercultural dialogue chapter of the training module.
The ASPIRE team hopes to make a real impact on the lives of the many thousands of refugees through sport and play. The response of the inspirational participants in the first two training sessions give reason to hope that the remaining sessions will be successful as well. The next national training session will be held on the 10th of December in Finland in the presence of ENGSO’s Policy Director, Kaisa Larjomaa.
We encourage all interested organisations to sign ASPIRE's letter of support in order to show your interest and collaborate in the dissemination activities. More information is available on the ASPIRE website and by email.