In disadvantaged areas all over Europe – and around the world - many young people experience a general lack of opportunities with issues such as poor health, youth unemployment, poverty and social exclusion.
The European Union has granted an Erasmus+ grant to five partner organizations, who work with ‘sport for all’, marginalised youth, social inclusion and health. We, the member NGOs in this ‘Youth-Led Street Sport for All’ project, support the conclusion that the situation is serious and calls for innovative solutions to strengthen social inclusion and build cohesive communities. Together, we have developed a framework to address the lack of opportunities for disadvantaged children and youth by employing street sports as a vehicle for social inclusion and cohesiveness.
Street sports is increasingly acknowledged by both researchers and policymakers as an important supplement to traditional team- and membership-based sports. Street sports is highly accessible as it can be practiced in local playgrounds, schoolyards, parks and urban spaces. Especially for disadvantaged youth street sport is an attractive alternative because it can be practiced in locally with no transport and participation costs. Furthermore, street sport is closely related to youth culture and it probes local engagement and agency among participants.
The ‘Youth-led Street Sport for All’ project enhances the inclusive aspects of street sports by including voluntary action, leadership training and the values of gender equality, democracy and tolerance in the project. It aims to increase participation in sports, strengthen social inclusion and to promote voluntary activity amongst disadvantaged children and youth in our countries (Denmark, Greece, Italy, Lithuania and Malta). The ambition is that disadvantaged youth may take a bold step towards a better and more active future as an integrated part of society.
Our partnership is also committed to developing new approaches and methods that are transferable to other organisations working in the field of ‘sport for all’. As such, may we present to you GAME Academy, an online and publicly-accessible education curriculum and exercise toolbox that offers motivated people around the world to access tools and resources to start up their own activities out on the street, no matter where they are.
I hope your organization finds the information compiled by the Youth-led Street Sport for All partnership to be useful. We wish you great success in your efforts to promote inclusion, equality, health and participation.
Co-founder & CEO, GAME