A sting to prejudice, the pilot project involves children with autism in a team game

The integrated football project jointly promoted by the“Torre Savio” amateur sports association. and by the “Voce all’Autismo” Association, which from September, in correspondence with the start of the 2022-2023 sports season, will begin in the name of inclusion.

The aim of the project is for children with intellectual or relational disabilities to be able to do physical activity, learning a complex and articulated team game, such as football. The activities will be in accordance with the abilities of the children who will take part and will be carried out following a totally playful modality, totally dedicated to fun, where small groups of neurotypical children already registered in Torresavio will be able to take part. In fact, under the supervision of a multidisciplinary team, made up of coaches, educators and psychologists, the activity will take place in small mixed groups, where each week children from different years of the school youth sector (between 7 and 12 years old) can participate. ). old)

In this first pilot project, he reports Matteo Losito, sports psychologist, UEFA C instructor and a qualified instructor for players with disabilities, “we have decided to limit the number of members to ten, while maintaining the intention to increase the number of members in the coming years. This seemingly very prudent choice will allow us to work with more precision and attention to detail. In addition, we would like to try to stick to a specific field of neurodiversity targeting only boys and girls on the autism spectrum between the ages of 7 and 12 at the moment for the same reasons. “This project, however, is not limited to a primary goal, but implements various secondary purposes by its very nature. In fact, children in the youth sector will find themselves interacting in completely new ways, compared to what they were used to in other areas such as school, so that children and young people who take part in the training will be able to discover skills. and resources that were previously inaccessible to their experience or unknown.This awareness work will not only stop at children, but can be extended to coaches on the field of play and to the families of all members. with a minimum commitment, other companies can also be involved, helping to create a virtuous circle of valorization and awareness about a world still very unknown and a victim of various taboos, such as intellectual and relational disability ”.

How the workouts will be carried out

The methodology is that of the shared training in the stations already adopted by Torresavio and by the companies belonging to the circuit of elite football schools of the FIGC. This approach increases motor engagement within the session, benefiting more from greater involvement and commitment in the various phases of the game, effectively eliminating downtime and waiting times between one exercise and one. other. Specifically, the session will be with a first phase of welcome in which all those attending the field will be received, they will be presented through an ad hoc structured game. Then start the actual training session with the exercises already lying on the floor. There will be 4-6 exercises lasting 12-15 minutes. The different exercises include thematic matches and matches with specific conditions, depending on the purpose of the session and various exercises with the ball. The training will last a total of 1 hour and 15 minutes, maximum 1 hour and 30 minutes. The training sessions will follow a real alignment of objectives, which will be developed specifically to try to get the little players to express the best of their abilities and, why not, to allow them to develop more. For example, it might be very interesting to investigate the potential of a mock-up that involves the transmission of the ball, which in fact constitutes a form of communication between two individuals. The extraordinary thing is that among those who are making this gesture there may be someone with limited communication skills. The medium of the globe has an almost infinite reserve of both expressive-emotional and cognitive potentialities: it is up to us to find the method to exploit it to the fullest.

The project hopes to have one 3 different professional figures in the field: instructors, professional educators, if necessary, and a psychologist with experience in the field of integration and sport, which will try to promote the success of the sessions and consequently the achievement of the objectives of the project.

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