Going International to Empower Sport and activate ..
Going International to Empower Sport and activate Youth
Start date: Jan 15, 2015,
End date: Dec 15, 2016
There is international enthusiasm for the idea that sport can contribute to ‘social inclusion’ strategies. Sport now features in various targeted youth initiatives, including "National Programme of Sport for All", currently active in Portugal. The processes through which these ‘sports-based interventions’ might promote ‘social inclusion’ require, however, further investigation. Drawing on interviews with operational staff, managers, partners and participants, the project critically analyses the concept of ‘sports-based social inclusion’ with reference to four main themes: ‘sport for all’, ‘social cohesion’, ‘a pathway to work’ and ‘giving voice’. It argues that, while programmes achieve varying degrees of ‘success’ in relation to these themes, their impact on exclusionary processes is inevitably limited.
According to the " White Paper for Sport" made available by the European reffers that "Sport is an area of human activity that greatly interests citizens of the European Union and has enormous potential for bringing them together, reaching out to all, regardless of age or social origin. According to a November 2004 Eurobarometer survey3, approximately 60% of European citizens participate in sporting activities on a regular basis within or outside some 700,000 clubs, which are themselves members of aplethora of associations and federations. The vast majority of sporting activity takes place in amateur structures. In addition to improving the health of Europeancitizens, sport has an educational dimension and plays a social, cultural and recreational role. The societal role of sport also has the potential to strengthen the Union's external relations".
The role of sport in inclusion has shown to be strongly linked to building social cohesion and social capital among young people and adults in communities. Sport has been used as a practical tool to engage young people in their communities through volunteering, resulting in higher levels of leadership, community engagement and altruism among young people.
Positive peer relationships between young people are encouraged through physical activity and coaching is considered a key aspect of how physical activity can contribute to social inclusion among young people.
Social inclusion also relates to offering equal opportunities to sport and education programmes regardless of gender, ethnicity or ability. There is increasing attention on programme development both in and out of schools for example, to include girls, people with disabilities, refugees and other kinds of minorities.
Research suggests that sport can be used as a means to reduce deviant behaviour among children and youth. But participating in physical activity does not directly impact on deviant behaviour. Accordingly, programmes should combine sports and physical activities with leadership and job-skills development and training to address risk factors in children and youth.
In summary the main purpose of this project is to create gateways to engage the target group in sport in order to establish relationships with authority figures, social services, educational programmes and marginalised groups.
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