Project Description

Diverse and Inclusive teams for children under 12 (DITEAM12)

The participation of children and teenagers in sport is often encouraged for the acquisition of important values for their development. However, sports is also an environment in which disrespectful and violent behavior happens. It is needed to define young athletes in a way that is appropriate to their needs, as children first and athletes second, which become complicated in competitive environments. A focus on the competitive aspect can produce under pressure on children to achieve high performance, causing anxiety and mentality of “a win-at-all-costs” that can lead to attitude problems, including violent behaviors. 

In order to provide a safe environment for children in sports, some federations have changed their coaching methods from competitive to more educational, where participants are encouraged to risk error, to learn and master the basic skills the sport. Apart from creating a non-violent environment for the children, this type of coaching also leaves more room for diversity, as all players can develop their skills according to their abilities, therefore giving more space for children with disabilities to participate. 

The project DITEAM12 aims to raise awareness on the positive aspects of non-competitive sports for children under 12, including the teaching of transversal skills. It seeks to create inclusive and diverse clubs as well as to use inclusion and diversity those sports clubs as tools to prevent violence and intolerance. This will be done by providing online pedagogical tools (Web Educational Tool) for coaches and club directors to allow them to focus on skills development and on self-improvement of children rather than on achieving the highest performance and reaching the best results. Also, the Material for the School of Parents together with the guidelines for the implementation will be prepared as the main training material allowing parents to be trained on diversity in the sports clubs. The great importance, as well as the inclusion, will be given to children with disabilities (physical, mental and/or sensorial) while creating the training material and the guidelines. 

A brochure with a short overview of the project can be found here.

Period of project implementation: 1.1.2020 – 31.12.2021

Co-funded by the Erasmus+ programme of the European Union.

The project is carried out in partnership with:

  • Asociacion Mi Hijo Y Yo (Spain) who works with children with ASD and their families in order to support the children’s relatives and educators to provide their children with an inclusive environment in which they can develop their skills. 
  • International Council of Sport Science and Physical Education (Germany). ICSSPE is a network of organisations and institutions concerned with sport, sport science and physical education. 
  • European Paralympic Committee (Austria) – an association for promotion of sports for athletes with disability.
  • Pedagoski Institut (Slovenia). The Educational Research Institute (ERI) is the public central research institution in Slovenia for research in education undertaking basic research, development and applied projects on issues of current interest in all sectors of education and related areas. Their main activities are research and publication of scientific articles, as well as participation in research and educational funded projects.
  • Informa Psichologia y Deporte (Spain) who works with different target groups in order to bridge the psychological and the physical aspects of the sport practice.

The project partners worked together to analyse the situation regarding inclusion in children’s sport in the project countries. Full report can be found here:

Empirical research into the current practices and attitudes of coaches and parents towards inclusion in sport clubs has been carried out. The report is available here:

Throughout the project, the project partners together with experts on inclusive sport have developed pedagogical materials for parents, coaches and club managers to help them focus on the positive aspects of competition and reaching every child’s potential.

Objectives:

  • to accept diversity in the team, 
  • to focus on children’s development through inclusion and tolerance rather than through competition and superiority,
  • to focus on the development of skills and self-improvement of children rather than on competition, 
  • to create inclusive clubs in which children with different abilities can train together, making room for children with mental, sensorial or physical disability.

Pedagogical materials