Football. Children. Inclusion. Europe.
23-30th of September, dates that gather a numbers of athletes, partners, coaches, volunteers back on the pitch in European Football Week and European Week of Sport.
Within project “Inclusion through Sports for Children with Developmental Disabilities“, Special Olympics Montenegro organized Unified sports competitions across country.
The athletes aged 6-12 years, celebrated in this week with goals. According to epidemiological measures against the Covid-19 pandemic, they are back on the pitch, which filled children, coaches and parents with joy. At the same time, SO Montenegro can continue strengthening inclusion through sports that is very important for children’s socialization and the development of skills through sports. Children with and without intellectual disabilities will have opportunity to play sport, support and encourage each other in the coming period through trainings and competitions in their municipalities.
One of the participants in Unified football competition was Benjamin, 7 years old boy. His mother, Jovana gladly comes to trainings and observes his progress. After the competition she confess what sport means to her son:
“I want him to meet new friends and socialize, acquire new skills and have more obligations allowing him to release the excess energy in a good way”.
Andrej is 8 years old boy who comes to training with his father Nemanja and twin sister Lara. He score 3 goals in penalty kick in football competition during EFW 2021. His father, did not hide his enthusiasm because Andrej belongs to the team:
“We all know that sports and health comprise two sides of the same coin. Taking up sports means being healthy. When it comes to Andrej and children in general, sports enhance their team spirit and sense of unity. Both individual and team sports can be of great benefit to him by improving his attention span, which will help him succeed at school”.
Family members have a role to enable and foster Healthy Relationships, but so do coaches.
Healthy Relationship between coach and children is important condition for continously training process and progress. It is achieved through supportive, respectful, based on trust, open communication and certain rules.
In Healthy Relationships both persons benefit from each other in the same way. Coaches have a role to help foster Healthy Relationships and safegurding on and off the court. Safeguarding is everyone’s responsibility and, all organisations that work with or have contact with children and young people at risk must demonstrate compliance with this responsibility.
Responsabilities for providing and respect human rights implies: sport for all, equality and inclusion, anti-discrimination, child protection, health and well-being, solidarity and rights, environmental Protection.
Safeguarding is a set of actions to ensure all participants of any SO activity have a positive experience and feel safe in any interaction. SO Programs and participants commit to create a safe environment and treat everyone with respect, by having policies and procedures.
According to this procedures and policy, and aspirations to raise awareness and increase knowledge in communities, these topics become unavoidable within Coach training workshops and Family Health Forums organized within the project “Inclusion through Sports for Children with Developmental Disabilities“.
Sport. Children. Equality. Health. Families. Coaches. Working together for an inclusive Europe!