The 12-month project began in January 2018 and its focus is aimed at identifying refugees’ needs for and barriers to participation in local sport activities, supporting the provision of sporting activities and providing opportunities for refugees and asylum seekers at grassroots sport level, while developing a transferable methodology based on the findings.
Particular emphasis for the INSPIRE project is being placed on gender balance and increasing levels of participation of female refugees in grassroots.
At present, participation levels in sport are low because of a lack of information on how to access sports activities, lack of opportunities, low self-confidence in trying out sport activities unsuitable for female refugees due to cultural differences and other reasons. For this reason, a minimum of 50% of the beneficiaries of the INSPIRE project will be female.
As part of this, project partners Les Dégommeuses have been running weekly football sessions in eastern Paris aimed at attracting refugee women to participate in sporting activities. All-female and mixed training sessions have been taking place every week since May at the Centre Louis Lumière, with refugee women from Ivory Coast, Mauritania, Uganda, Senegal, Nigeria and Russia taking part, among others.
In total 13 sessions have taken place so far.
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Great to see the latest sessions taking place by @lesdegommeuses as part of the INSPIRE project – Integration through Sport and Inclusion for Refugees in Europe! Les Dégommeuses are project partners and the sessions are being held to help increase participation and provide better access to sporting activities for refugee women in Europe. (Photo @t.suarez) #refugeesinspire #footinclusif #sportinclusif #refugees #refugeewomen #womenwho #footballforall
“The INSPIRE project allows us to continue to welcome women refugees in our team and to strenghen our inclusive approach,” said Veronica Noseda of Les Dégommeuses. “It is a story of political commitment, but also of camaraderie and friendship. We are all in the same team, refugees and not refugees, we all share the same pitch and the same values.
“It is important that INSPIRE benefit all of us, not only women who had to flee from their country. We build collectively upon sports and solidarity, to have pleasure together, to empower ourselves, but also to combat racism and xenophobia.”
The Fare INSPIRE project has received funding from the European Commission as part of a grant scheme for initiatives using sport for refugee integration and social inclusion.
Further activities will take place during the European Week of Sport and a toolkit will be developed and presented at the project’s final conference in Warsaw in November 2018.
Here, training modules will be shared along with best practice examples and recommendations for sports organisations and practitioners.
Project partners include the Fare members Les Dégommeuses and Fundacja dla Wolności.