• Integration of Refugees through Sport
    Networking Platform

  • Integration of Refugees through Sport
    Networking Platform

  • Integration of Refugees through Sport
    Networking Platform

Integration of Refugees through Sport
Networking Platform

The world is experiencing its highest levels of forced displacement on record, with more than 70 million people today having had to flee their homes. Large numbers of refugees and asylum seekers face exclusion, lack of livelihood opportunities and grave risks to their mental and physical health. Civil society has a role to play in addressing this. Sport and physical activity can be a powerful tool for inclusion, relief, health promotion and human connection.

It is time to take the next steps to scale tested solutions from the sport and physical activity sector to the benefit of both refugees and society! Thanks to support from the European Union, ISCA is uniting these solutions right here on the Integration of Refugees Through Sport (IRTS) Networking Platform. The platform aims to realise our strength in numbers by offering in-person and online opportunities to meet, learn, gain recognition for our initiatives, and connect with high profile humanitarian organisations. If you have an interest in this field, we invite you to be part of it!

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Integration of Refugees through Sport Networking Platform

The first international knowledge hub and networking platform for integration of refugees through sport


inspiring advice from refugees on integration through sport


01/08/2023 IRTS Ukraine partners experience refugees’ reality in Romania read more
05/05/2023 Sport and physical activity’s meaningful contribution to humanitarian relief: Integration of Ukrainian Refugee Children Through Sport (IRTS Ukraine) read more
20/02/2023 New project to test pan-Nordic approach to supporting Ukrainian refugees through sport read more
25/11/2022 "We have always sought to engage with the local community and refugees": Malta FA read more
24/11/2022 IRTS Networking Platform enhances visibility of community projects supporting refugee inclusion: closing conference read more
23/11/2022 Exceptional contributions to refugee inclusion through sport take centre stage at Moving People conference read more
04/11/2022 Video: Our Integration of Refugees Through Sport journey continues read more
02/11/2022 "Positive experiences can turn into changes in attitudes": Oltalom Sport Association read more

Integration of Refugees through Sport

  • “Having been part of a larger project like MOVE Beyond has been very inspiring and I’ve been challenged to think anew and to develop my thoughts. It’s also given me the confidence and perspective to value the things that I’m doing right.”

    Suvi Rehell, UK (Devon & Cornwall Refugee Support)
  • “We wanted to give refugees sports organising and intercultural tools so they become an added value to the sports organisations. So it’s not like the sports organisations have to go and work with those poor, disadvantaged refugees. No, we have empowered them with the right training.”

    Adnan Abdul Ghani, Sweden (Save the Children Region West)
  • “Many refugee children have never experienced the freedom of care, sports and play. Some have simply forgotten what it’s like to be a child. Camps and training sessions with their peers can help heal the emotional scars and create a relatively normal happening in their troublesome life as a refugee.”

    Peter Bennett, Denmark (DGI Inclusion)
  • “It’s important to be curious and brave. Listen to people, their stories and experiences and just go for it.”

    Hanna Johansson, Sweden (SISU/StreetGames)
  • “The integration process is never unidirectional. Our project aimed at creating a team where the players are also active members who engage outside of the tournament to raise awareness within the local community.”

    Cristina Brezzi, Italy (ATAS)
  • “Sport England is the main grassroots funding body from the government and they have five outcomes: physical wellbeing, mental wellbeing, individual development, social and community development and economic development. And I think using sport in the way that we have done in this collaboration meets all of those outcomes. Small projects like this can have a massive impact.”

    Lucie Vickers, UK (StreetGames)
  • “Physical activity helps me live today and not think about tomorrow and what’s going to happen. It’s good because it makes you feel good. It doesn’t change the situation, you can’t change it, but you can change your feeling about the situation.”

    Refugee from Afghanistan, Denmark (Ollerup Asylum School)
  • “Physical activity is an ease, a break from mental stress. Although it is not therapy in itself, it has a therapeutic and stabilising effect. It can help in getting the alarm and alertness out of the system. This has been my most culturally enriching experience in many years of teaching PE.”

    Morten Andersson, Denmark (Ollerup Asylum School trainer)
  • “The biggest challenge is to integrate refugees and asylum seekers in sport without creating activities directed only to them. This creates another form of isolation from the rest of the society. The real challenge is to include locals in the activities with refugees.”

    Beatrice Agostini, Italy (UISP Trentino)
  • “The distinction between merely allowing people into a community and welcoming them to such an extent that the community changes is an approach that is essential to human dignity, to the enjoyment of sports and exercising of human rights. Inclusion also emphasises a sense of belonging, which includes feeling respected, valued for who you are, feeling a level of supportive energy and commitment from others.”

    Zakayo Wandoloh, Belgium (Demos)
  • "When we stopped worrying about working with refugees and started playing with them and having fun, the air became lighter. If I learnt something that week it is that sometimes all it takes to rehumanise us is a little dance."

    Javier Mira, Mexico (Ollerup Academy of Physical Education)
  • "We approached these people with love, smiles, and great positive energy. As a result, we received more love and smiles then we could have even imagined! ... The adults were happy and relaxed, seeing their children and family having a great time without concerns, and most didn’t hesitate to interact with us. I really could see how powerful sport is for integration."

    Santiago Villalobos, Portugal (Ollerup Academy of Physical Education)