Webinar recap: Include Everyone!


Maria Malyshkina, ISCA

Did you join our Integration of Refugees Through Sport Network webinar “Include everyone!” on 15 September? If not, no worries – here’s a recap and a link to webinar’s recording for you!

ISCA continues to connect people who are working in the field of sport and inclusion through the Integration of Refugees Through Sport (IRTS) Networking Platform. This time, we were joined by representatives of two organisations from Austria and Romania who presented their work with specific target groups of refugees and migrants. 

Kurt Wachter from the Vienna Institute for International Dialogue and Cooperation (VDC) shared his experiences with the ‘SPIN Women’ project (Sport Inclusion of Migrant and Minority women: Promoting sports participation and leadership capacities). Through its activities, SPIN Women demonstrates the different perspectives of migrant and ethnic minority women and develops strategies to increase their involvement in sports. Kurt presented his project and its initiatives, including toolkits, European training for connecting sport stakeholders, transnational networking and advocating for policy change, education and raising public awareness. You can find out more about the project here.

Kayra Hohmann continued the webinar with her findings from ‘Action research for inclusion’, gathered from women refugees and migrants participating in sports activities. Her part of the research was conducted in Germany where she focused on ‘non-mainstream’ football clubs: cultural and ethnic migrant organisations and football clubs that target minority groups like refugees, transwomen and queer people. In particular, she looked at the young girls with migratory background to find out what obstacles they are facing in mainstream sports and what are their reasons to choose alternative organisations.

According to her findings, it was crucial for the young women that the clubs proactively created a safe environment for them. Alternative football organisations often show more pronounced awareness and have precise rules towards incidents of racism and anti-discriminatory policies. Moreover, mainstream football clubs could not offer social bonding activities for the newcomers, which made some women feel out of place: “Football remained a practice but not a joined experience.” Another interesting finding was that mainstream clubs sometimes do not show an understanding of the life situations of women with migratory backgrounds, e.g. penalising them for missing training when they had commitments to attend language or integration courses. Read more about the research here

Cristina Vladescu from Terre des hommes then spoke about her experiences of working with children and families affected by migration, refugee and asylum seeker status and introduced the methodology ‘Movement Games and Sport’. Terre des hommes (a leading Swiss organisation for children’s aid) has for many years been promoting the benefits of sport in contributing to positive social outcomes among vulnerable displaced and migrant/refugee communities.

Movement, Games and Sport is a methodology developed in 2005 and piloted in the areas affected by wars and natural disasters and then successfully transferred to Europe from 2008. It’s based on using games as a way to involve children on many levels (physical, cognitive and emotional), and specifically focuses on transforming traditional competitive games into cooperative ones, which helps the refugees feel recognised as they are based on the tradition of the refugee community.

Check out this guidance on traditional games for child protection and the manual of psychosocial skills for working with children and their environment.

Cristina also briefly introduced the structure of the training modules as well as the main principles the methodology is based on, among which the most important one is increasing resilience in children. She also talked about the MOVE Together project, which created a mixed group of women trainers who are able to provide psychosocial support to refugee children and youth.

We rounded up the webinar in breakout rooms where we discussed the challenges the participants are facing when involving different target groups.

One more free networking webinar is planned within our Integration of Refugees Through Sport Platform, so SAVE THE DATE below and keep an eye on https://irts.isca.org/ or sign up to our newsletter for more information.

Work together for a bigger impact!

Collaboration and cooperation between different organisations, clubs, local authorities, schools and other stakeholders is important and can make a bigger impact on the target group as well as the local setting. We’d like to showcase examples of how that can be done.

10 November 13.00 – 14.30 CET

Registration will open 2 weeks before the webinar. Follow https://irts.isca.org/ or sign up to our newsletter for more information.

If you have any questions or would like more information about the webinars or IRTS online learning, feel free to contact Monika Resetar: mr@isca-web.org.