Inclusion through sport that breaks boundaries

© Sport Without Borders

The meeting between different cultures and the improving differences are basic themes in an increasingly globalized world and at this particular historical moment characterized by great sufferinglike the pandemic of COVID-19[feminine] and the war at the gates of Europe. In addition to government policies for integration and the fight against inequalities, too sport represents a factor of social development in contexts o disadvantaged territoriessocial inclusion for political refugees, unaccompanied foreign minors or in high conflict familiesdisability.

Sport Without Borders

The search for the inclusion of boys with fragility from particularly difficult countries and contexts, it is the founding mission of “Sport without borders”a non – profit organization that, in 2009through a pilot project, welcomed and made five children recommended by the Community of Sant’Egidio, which have been included in the Modern Pentathlon courses at Atlhion Rome. Today the association goes further 600 minors in eight Italian cities., regarding this experience of hospitality and sportsinterviewed the communications director of “Sport Senza Frontiere” Roberta de Fabritiis.

© Sport Without Borders

The interview

How was Sport Senza Frontiere born and what are its aims?

“Sport Senza Frontiere” was born in 2011, in fact last year we turned ten, with the aim of pursuing social inclusion through an educational-sports itinerary, for all children in Italy coming from difficult situations, frail families living in the neighborhoods of big cities in educational poverty. We, with our project, try to get them to play sports for free, but not only that. It is the taking that is essential. Our intervention model that we have developed ensures that the boy is followed 360 degrees. Not always, in fact, giving sports activity and giving this possibility that we have not invented ourselves but many sports associations, already do and have always done so, because sport has always been inclusive and generous. The problem is, if you don’t follow these kids and, for example, don’t check on their attendance and how much they attend, you don’t know the families, you don’t tell them the importance of this path, you don’t accompany them and you don’t monitor their progress. he goes there two or three times and then the road stops. We must realize that they are children who come from difficult family situations, some come from family homes, others are children of immigrants, single-parent parents, single-parent families, and we understand that taking care of them is critical to the success of the business. . Therefore, we take care of children for at least two years, the age group is primary-secondary, which is the most vulnerable, and this is where we need to accompany children. After ten years of activity, it now happens that the children keep us close and, as a result, the peer education project is born in which the same former beneficiaries become guardians, that is, they pass the baton. This is a Catholic, Salesian and Scouting concept that we have inherited because peer education is one of the most effective things in the world. The former beneficiaries continue their way of teaching the little ones ”.

What activities have you set in motion in this delicate historical situation for the boys and girls of Ukraine?

Displaced people
Kyiv 04/03/2022 – war in Ukraine / photo Imago / Image
in the photo: refugees ONLY ITALY

“Sport Senza Frontiere” has a basic program that encourages inclusion through sport. This takes place within the sports clubs that, all over Italy, join this program and welcome children. This is the Core program. Then we have a number of special projects. One of them is “First Class Sports – Ukraine Emergency”. The first host sport is a special program that we have already experienced, with great success, with refugee children. Initially, this project was born with UNHCR, to offer a quick tool for social inclusion to all those children who arrived by boat, from humanitarian corridors and those who were housed in shelters. We understood that sport was a very fast vehicle for them to join society, to create relationships while learning the language. So we started this project with UNHCR which later stayed. Now, the same planning is used for Ukrainian refugees. They are all children and little by little we have been inserting them, following them and organizing their medical visits, in sports courses. Later, we include them in the Joy project, which is a summer activity, from June to September, which is a very critical period for families who cannot afford to go on holiday or pay for summer camps or summer camps. . For this reason, “Sport Senza Frontiere” has created Joy, which includes summer centers and educational workshops, so we also include Ukrainian children. At the moment, for example, I am in Leonessa, where recently, thanks to the collaboration with the municipality, we have recently inaugurated the “Joy Summer Camp” in which there are already some Ukrainian children and others will arrive in the next days. We will be here for four weeks, we will welcome children from different realities, including those from Ukraine that we have already included in the cities of the project, and we will take them on holiday with us ”.

What are your future hopes for inclusion through sport?

“Sport Senza Frontiere” works to create a society where sport is a right and accessible to all. It would be great, for example, for it to become a school credit and be, in schools of all levels, a discipline that produces credit. Those who do competitive activities, for example, would do well to have an advantage in the school career and not be forced to leave because they cannot study and at the same time do competitive activities because this often happens in Italy. In addition, sport should not be a luxury, but an educational possibility. Sport is a great social elevator, in the sense that, in recent years in Italy, this flexibility has been somewhat lost, so there was the possibility that, as the son of a poor family, he would make a way to his life, to get out of this difficult condition, perhaps graduating and being able to help the family. In Italy this is becoming less and less common. This possibility of moving within society and getting out of a difficult situation of poverty thanks to one’s abilities is less and less possible. Sport, on the other hand, gives this possibility, because it puts different worlds in contact, it makes you travel, it gives you confidence and strength and, consequently, it is a great possibility of growth and salvation. Therefore, I hope that the importance of sport will be recognized at the institutional level. A lot has been done, a lot of progress has been made, the institutions have noticed it, but there is still a long way to go ”.

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