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How to include through sports? Sharing good practices

The sports associations role

During the November 2021 meeting held in Rome, our delegates imagined two ideal sports associations on the front line against social exclusion.

Each sports association had the task of training its volunteers and staff on the most critical social issues for their community.

This work allowed the working groups that had to carry out the exercise to identify best practices regarding the methods of inclusion to be put in place in their own sports associations and not only in the imagination.

The names chosen for the ideal sports associations are very evocative: Sport4all and Sport4everybody.


The video opens with members of the Spanish La Mina and Portuguese Queluz associations telling how the volunteers should constantly work for the community; they should be older than the users precisely to help and teach the younger ones to increase their inclusion in society through sport.

To do inclusion, they plan to use social media because it is used a lot by young people, talk in schools and do everything to allow at-risk youth to spend their free time in the sports association.

They also argue that it is crucial to talk to local governments to find substantial funding and allow kids to train in the best environment and sports equipment. The policy must also help identify the problem of exclusion in each area of its jurisdiction. It is the only one that can overview possible issues, ranging from those related to sexual orientation and gender to those related to poverty.

The economic component of the association is as important as identifying the problem because it can help solve it. They argue that it would be essential to get funding from companies that want to create partnerships with sports associations because they could have their return since many people participate in these initiatives and a real community is built.

Another way to get funding for these activities could be to do events that, in addition to helping toengage the community, allow businesses such as bars and restaurants to participate and sell their products to ensure a more significant influx of young people. The more people, companies and institutions get involved in the project, the more opportunities for youth in need.

Moreover, all this would make positive publicity for the city, because sport is violent as some might think. It is also full of positive aspects that could become the town's image and the community.

Finally, the financial help and training that the EU provides for these projects could make the future of young people in need better.


Therefore, the second video and the second ideal sports association were made by members of ASD Sparta boxing, Atic and Tornado.

The first emphasises that this association is based on the motto: This is my life, my choice".

Immediately after they focus on the structure that should take this association, they imagine a maximum of 7 people divided between 4 men and three women. In favour of maintaining equality between genders, the age of participants should range between 14 and 16 years to allow them to have the sport as a guide in one of the most challenging periods of adolescence where you could easily be at risk of exclusion.

According to the group formed by Italians, Romanians and Bulgarians, the decisions of this ideal association should be taken democratically. It starts with the proposal of an idea implemented and put into practice only after obtaining the majority of the voting members.

Other rules of this association concern the language. Bad words are not accepted, and phrases like "I can't, or I can't do it" are not allowed because they lower the positivity of the group.

Of course, the staff and volunteers have a great responsibility towards the boys who have decided to help and consequently should be selected after a training carried out by the leaders of the association who will also be responsible for the actions of staff and volunteers.

As for the economic side of the association, the main idea is to obtain funding by asking directly to political institutions. There is a public interest in funding these projects to sports federations and sports ngos because they bring good visibility. Other ways to fund your projects are donations, sponsorships and public events with practical demonstrations to show how importantis the role of sports in fighting the phenomenon of social exclusion of young people.

The ideal associations imagined by the participants in the PUNCH project co-founded by the Erasmus+ Programme of the European Union have points in common. They underline the importance of training their staff and their volunteers on these topics to push a new idea of inclusion though sports.


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