A European conference focusing on the integration of refugees will take place in Berlin, Germany  on 7 December. The event gathers coaches from across European realities working with refugees through sport.

The train the trainer event takes place on 7 December 2019, as part of the Integration through Sport and Inclusion of Refugees for All (INSPIRE4ALL) project developed by Fare in partnership with Champions ohne Grenzen and Polisportiva San Precario.

Funded by the European Commission, this one-year project addresses the use of sport for integration.

The event will be a full day of discussions and workshops setting out a European wide approach on increasing the participation of refugees in local sport activities and the potential for host communities to successfully engage with and integrate refugees through sport.

This event is focused on coaches working with, or interested in working with, refugees, and will cover how to develop and deliver inclusive sport sessions, with a special focus on promoting gender balance; overcoming barriers; adaptation, and engagement in sports for refugees in their local host community.

Who should attend?

The day is targeted at coaches working or interested in working with refugees. Coaches from sport governing bodies, sport clubs, NGOs and refugee community organisations are welcome.

Entry to the event is free and bursaries for travel and accommodation are available.

Registration is compulsory. Please register using the following form here: https://www.tfaforms.com/4773797

The deadline to apply is 24th November.

As part of the INSPIRE4ALL project (Integration through Sport and Inclusion for Refugees in Europe) a webinar will take place on Tuesday 29th October to educate and advise coaches on how they can utilise their coaching skills to work with refugees.

Increasing the participation of new migrants in local sports activities is a fundamental way to help them to integrate into their new communities and overcome the exclusion of refugees and asylum seekers.

Using sport as a tool for inclusion, coaches have a powerful way to help change people’s lives for the better.

As part of the project INSPIRE4ALL will host a webinar with experienced coaches and co-ordinators with high level experience working with refugees and catering to their specific needs in a sporting context.

Nick Sore, Senior Refugee Sports Coordinator at the UNHCR, will join Thomas Farines, Football for protection consultant for Terre des Hommes Hellas and Christof Luyts, a coach at OCMW Leuven, to examine how coaches can organise sports sessions for refugees.

The webinar will provide guidance and advice on how to prepare coaching sessions, what to consider, how coaching refugees differs from coaching sports sessions for local people and what best practices or cultural differences to keep in mind when working with refugees.

The webinar will take place on 29th October at 7pm and will last for 40 minutes.

The Fare network, together with project partners Champions Ohne Grenzen and Polisportiva San Precario, have for the past few months held a series of sports sessions and Action Days as part of the INSPIRE4ALL project.

Below a summary of how the project has developed so far and how it has responded to the needs of refugees in Italy and Germany.

Champions ohne Grenzen (Germany)

The German organisation Champions ohne Grenzen began with a needs assessment, meeting with refugee women and others who were not yet involved in sports activities. As a result of these meetings and the resulting surveys, two sport sessions were developed to help address the issues that were identified – issues such as child care, creating a protective atmosphere and a lack of resources.

To help further address the challenges of the INSPIRE4ALL project Champions ohne Grenzen increased the size of their team, allowing them to promote their organisation’s activities in refugee camps, language schools and other networks. This was a great success – during the last practice session before Ramadan 16 players took part.

As part of the project, weekly free training sessions are open for refugee women of all ages and abilities. The sessions are bi-weekly, involving both general sports and fitness classes, basketball, volleyball as well as football, with an emphasis on fun and friendship. Childcare opportunities are provided at the sports ground.

Later this August (24-26th), Champions ohne Grenzen will also organise Action Days in Berlin, featuring sports activities for locals and refugees and debates on the topic of refugee inclusion, all open to the public.

Polisportiva San Precario (Italy)

Meanwhile in Italy, project partners Polisportiva San Precario, after a consultation on the needs of refugees in Padua, began organising sport sessions focused on football, basketball and fitness. The collection of the data on the needs of refugees was done in co-operation between PSP and refugees shelters in Padua.

Polisportiva San Precario managed to engage a minimum of 20 refugees during the initial part of the project. However, due to the unfortunate political circumstances that are present in Italy, many shelters are closing, and refugees feel more and more besieged by the surrounding community and negative messages coming from the government. This has negatively impacted progress as some refugees have been displaced and others lost all the support they had including food and shelter.

INSPIRE4ALL Sport Sessions organised by Polisportiva San Precario have been open to refugees and local men and women of all ages and abilities. Polisportiva found through their research and first-hand interviews that having mixed sports sessions was not an issue, so both trainings are for both men and women. A variety of sports have been made available to participants.

The organisation also held its Action Days in May (18-19th) in Padua through the 2019 edition of the “SanPrecario Sport Festival” – a four-day event featuring debates and sports tournaments as well as good food and music.