Pics Project final meeting 7-9 May 2019 – Banya (BG)

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Final meeting of the Pics Project was held in Banya, Bulgaria, were the association: International Initiatives for Cooperation hosted the group in a wonderful place near the mountain.
The work proceeded with the redaction of the BOOK OF RESULTS
you can check it attached here or later in this article, the group was then splitted in half and we worked on the production of a video for the promotion of these guidelines:


Project Reference: 590434-EPP-1-2017-1-IT-SPO-SSCP
Programme: Erasmus+ Sport Small Collaborative Partnerships

Book of results


Sport is considered a central element in the growth of people, both because it represents a factor of prevention and promotion of psycho-physical well-being and an essential element of correct lifestyles, and because it contributes to directly experimenting values considered important especially in the phases of development of children and young people: respect for others and rules, self-discipline, habit of fatigue and commitment, cooperation within the team, acceptance of defeat, ability to manage difficulties and problems. Furthermore, sport allows us to overcome the differences, be they linguistic, religious, cultural, social, and to create contexts in which dialogue and acceptance can be fostered.
Therefore, sport can be a vehicle for socialization and therefore for social integration. This occurs, above all, in team sports and in any case in group activities: there are rules, both those concerning the game itself (soccer, volleyball, etc.) that are pre-existing, and those concerning technical and athletic preparation , that each group gives itself freely, taking into account its own experience: in both cases these rules constitute a powerful factor for the restoration and maintenance of the reality exam.

This reality test is produced, fundamentally, through the recognition of the existence of the Other (companion or adversary) which must be taken into account if one wants to obtain satisfactions, first of all pure entertainment, up to the awareness of “having played well », according to your possibilities, regardless of the result.
Therefore it is possible to see how, from an individual dimension, of recovery of one’s own integrity and personal well-being, through the tool of sport, one can access a wider dimension that allows a social integration where experiences (physical fatigue, l ‘competitive spirit, tension, emotions of joy and disappointment, up to the final result of defeat or success) are always shared and never suffered, especially the negative ones, in solitude.
After deep analysis, the staff of the associations that were partners of the PICS project, co-funded by the European Commission under the ERASMUS + SPORT program and headed by the KRAP association, agreed on the need to focus on three specific “vulnerable groups “. These social groups have been the instrument of analysis to measure how and how sport can act as a tool for social integration.
The vulnerable groups that have been chosen for the analysis are:
 People living in the absence of minimum citizenship rights or with extremely reduced rights (irregular foreigners – migrants – asylum seekers);
 People who live in a relational area of great hardship, exclusion or self-exclusion, due to their sexual orientation (LGBT community);
 People who live in a relational area of great hardship and limitations due to physical or cognitive handicaps. (Handicapped)
Once the target groups have been identified, the team formed by the operators of the associations, also thanks to the work of analysis and research carried out in their countries of origin, was able to draw up guidelines to make the sport an integration tool. The work was finalized in an international meeting in the town of Schio (Italy) in February 2019.
Here there are the proposals that have been identified, divided into three thematic groups:
The profile of these professionals has a key role in the formation and approach to sport of the vulnerable groups we have identified. Below is a list of some proposals to improve their preparation and impact on social action:

  • More skills and qualifications
    The role of the coach cannot and must not be limited to that of sports coach. In fact, the coach is the professional who spends more time with the athletes (professional and / or amateur) and is able to influence group dynamics. Precisely in this regard, to better manage the dynamics, we believe it is appropriate for the coach to receive from the sports clubs not only a technical-sports preparation but also a basic knowledge about conflict resolution techniques and the bases of cultural mediation techniques.
  • Specialization and constant updating
    Precisely because the operators of the sports sector work closely with the various realities that make up today’s society, we believe that it is appropriate for Trainers and coaches to be given constant updating and specific specializations, so as to make their professional profiles not only specialized sportingly, but also on an educational level.
  • Understanding of the educational role
    Very often sports operators tend to limit their responsibilities exclusively to the sporting sphere of their work. Thus forgetting the social mission of their work. Precisely for this reason we believe it is important to provide the right dimension to this professional category, recognizing its members not only as sports coaches but, finally, as educators.
    The structures that host young athletes and / or amateur sportsmen have a fundamental importance in the social action of sport. These, in fact, are the only places in which citizens can have a direct relationship with the practice of sporting discipline and should therefore respect some essential characteristics:
  • Accessibility and total absence of architectural barriers
    We firmly believe that, especially in the integration of subjects with physical disabilities, the accessibility of places where sport is practiced is a fundamental element. Physical disability is in fact a limiting factor which, in addition to worsening the motor skills of the subjects, gives rise to a feeling of impotence in them, which many times manifests itself in psychological forms such as depression. It is the task of sports facilities to allow people with disabilities to practice sports independently, allowing athletes and amateurs with disabilities to access the facilities without the need for help from family and staff, thus counteracting the feeling of powerlessness.
  • Psychological support
    The vulnerable groups that we have dealt with in this analysis find themselves, due to the situation of marginalization, to be also psychologically fragile groups. For this we have identified in the presence of a psychologist and a cultural mediator in the sports structure a potential enrichment of the training offer.
  • Free sports equipment or for controlled prices
    In the vulnerable groups analyzed, especially in the case of migrants and asylum seekers, we also found an economic situation of almost absolute poverty. For this reason, to use sport as an Integration tool, we believe that if sports clubs have to provide access to free equipment (or for controlled prices) for people with fewer economic opportunities.
    We cannot forget how important the role of institutions and sports federations is in the field of integration. The role of these institutions must be to promote campaigns and initiatives aimed at using sport as a tool for the social integration of vulnerable groups. In particular:
  • Promotion competitions without gender distinctions
    The promotion of competitions without gender differences can be a first step towards the total integration of the LGBT community in the sports world, with a special focus on the Transgender world.
    Enrollment in a sports tournament without the request to specify the Gender is a fundamental detail to facilitate the approach of this group vulnerable to the sports world.
  • Simplify burocracy for registration to tournaments
    One of the recurring elements that we have analyzed during these months of work is the bureaucratic difficulty of the members of the “vulnerable group” whom we have called “migrants and asylum seekers” in approaching sport. In fact, their status does not always allow athletes to register for official tournaments and therefore to experience competitive sport. We believe that one of the ways of social integration (especially for foreign minors) goes through competitive sport, which would allow the subjects to live a social group (team) that can be a catalyst for the energies and synergies that help vulnerable people to integrate into society . To allow all this we find it essential that the federations’ bureaucratic system be streamlined and that registration for official tournaments to migrants and asylum seekers (especially minors) is allowed and facilitated by limiting the amount of documentation required.

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