Toward Equal Opportunities for Children in Sport (TECOS)
Toward Equal Opportunities for Children in Sport
Start date: Feb 28, 2013,
End date: Aug 30, 2014
The main objective of the project is to provide equal opportunities for children of the cross-border region who has a strong will to engage in tennis play, to participate, to learn, to make new friendships and to feel equal with their young fellows which psycho-physical conditions allow them a free engagement in sports. The main aspect of the project will focus on disabled children with special needs, and will provide them a chance to participate and get involved in training, competition and spending time with their fellows. Both organizations will recruit children of elementary school age, both healthy and those with special needs. SZVTK will recruit children from schools in Szeged and TK Palić "1878" will recruit deafmute children from the specialized school in Subotica. On the very beginning of the project, tennis trainers and other stakeholders of the cross-border region will be educated and prepared for the work with children with special needs.At the end of the project children regardless their psycho-physic abilities and health status will be equally prepared and involved and will have the ability to continue their engagement in tennis. The programme will be disseminated through the cross-border region and will serve as a good practice to other sport organizations how to prepare and renew their sport programmes for both, children with and without special needs. A common tennis competition for the children involved in the project will be a final achievement of their collaboration, tennis knowledge and befriending. Rich free time activities will additionally ensure the making of new friendships and mutual understanding of the involved children. The readiness and competence of both organization is a strong guarantee of success of the TECOS project. Achievements: The main objective of the project was to provide equal opportunities for children in the cross-border region who have a strong desire to play tennis, to participate in competitions, to learn and to make new friendships. The main aspect of this project focused on children with disabilities giving them the chance to participate in training and competitions and spend more time with their peers. The tennis clubs from Szeged and Palič arranged a rich series of programmes including promotional trainings for junior students from primary schools, regular tennis coaching for participating children, mini-leagues and sports-coaching seminars, as well as trainers professional meetings. Twice a week the children had the opportunity to play tennis with their peers from the neighbouring country. The acquisition of new equipment not only improved the quality of tennis education in both clubs, but also enabled them to include children from disadvantaged families in tennis trainings by providing them with the equipment. Aside from the educational work with schoolchildren, the two clubs especially emphasised the inclusion of children with hearing impairments in their everyday work. They first organised a seminar for coaches on the benefits of employing an inclusive approach in sports and assessed the opportunities the tennis educators have to contribute to the integration of children with disabilities into society and public life. In these seminars, the coaches were able to learn practical coaching methods and supportive and motivational techniques to use in their work with children with disabilities. Finally and most importantly, the coaches and tennis trainers agreed on the importance of teaching children that their peers with disabilities have an equal right to participate in sports, can achieve great results if they play in supportive environment and that their participation will benefit the sport itself, society and all the members of their communities. The teachers exchanged experiences, teaching methods, developed their professional and personal connections, and children became committed to tennis through the trainings. The partners biggest results were the enthusiastic smiles on the childrens face, the established friendships and life-long memories.
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