Since 2014, around 1,8 million people arrived on the Europe’s coasts fleeing their country to escape from persecution, armed conflict, violence. At the same time an anti-migrant speech which maintains prejudice against migrant people got more and more success in Europe. This is resulting in a rise of racism and xenophobia which “plays a key role in migrants’ exclusion and violations of rights in the European Union”. In this context, it is very important to push for change, to break down the barriers of racism and social hardship and to promote an intercultural vision in our societies.
Sport can represent a good factor for the inclusion of socially disadvantaged groups, marginalised people and people at risk of discrimination. Sport can be a truly powerful educational tool and a complement to what is done at the institutional level in promoting various values such as tolerance, solidarity, cooperation, and an intercultural vision of our societies. By bringing people, who do not usually interact, to know each other, to speak, to share a sense of belonging, sport can be really useful. It allows this people coming from different segments of the population to go over hate speeches they could hear around them and thus combat any form of prejudice, racism and xenophobia.
It is indeed essential in our societies to foster exchanges and dialogue between people because it is the path to prevent the rising of potential discriminatory practices and ease the inclusion of marginalized people such as migrants. For this purpose, it is especially important to involve youth coming from different backgrounds to open them up to intercultural ideas in order for them to become the ambassadors of a message of tolerance. That is why sport’s potential as a training and inclusive social tool needs to be maximised to address the obstacles and life challenges these people are facing by carrying out empowering programs and intercultural dialogue-interventions.
This means also to support trainers, coaches in developing professional skills and competencies to manage diversity and tensions and to carry out inclusion process of disadvantaged and marginalized population. It is finally also important to foster volunteering in sport and encourage marginalized people to involve themselves within sports clubs and in sport activities.
Inspired by the Mediterraneo Antirazzista’s success ( it is a sport/artistic/cultural event in Palermo – Italy) this has been the aim of MATCH social inclusion opportunities project, a 2 year Collaborative Partnerships project co-funded by the Erasmus+ programme, intending to enhance social inclusion and equal opportunities for refugees, asylum seekers, migrants and disadvantaged young local people by fostering and increasing participation in sport activities.
To strengthen sports as a tool for social inclusion and to raise awareness about its potential
To foster an increased participation of migrants and local young people in sport activities and to create a constructive dialogue between different social groups
To train Youth workers and Sport Trainers to a better awareness and proper skills to use sport as a pedagogical tool to foster social inclusion of “vulnerable” target groups
To offer learning opportunities (being coach) to sportive young people from local and migrant origins that would increase their level of social inclusion and their future job opportunities
Refugees, asylum seekers and young with migrant background
Local young people with disadvantaged background
Sport trainers trained on sport, non-formal education and social inclusion
Young people with different background trained on sport coaching
Young people involved in sport and educational activities
Sport spots renovated
People participated in Local anti-racist Festivals
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