Sports project: Football as an impetus for more inclusion

Sports project: Football as an impetus for more inclusion
The exchange between the children is encouraged in a playful way.
Image: private
The project team: Dalibor Horvat, Michael Elmecker and Mirko Schmitt
Image: private

“See what is there and don’t concentrate on what is missing” – this is the message Michael Elmecker, Mirko Schmitt and Dalibor Horvat want to convey with their sports project. The Mühlviertlers, all three of whom work in the disabled area, are currently completing the course to become qualified disability assistants at the Ludwig Schwarz School in Gallneukirchen.

You have decided to focus on football in your diploma project. The idea behind it: Impaired and non-impaired children are brought together in a playful way, so they get to know each other’s lives and are sensitized at an early stage. “We wanted to do something where there really is an exchange and everyone can take part,” the three quickly agreed on where the journey should take them.

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The right cooperation partners were finally found in the Caritas facility in St. Isidor (Leonding) and the Free Waldorf School in Linz – not least because of the support of their supervisor Selina Schatka.

The first meeting with the children took place at the end of January; the target group is 8 to 12 year olds. The focus of the three training sessions is on the fun of movement and doing group dynamic exercises together – as opposed to competitive thoughts. The participating children all become winners and each receive a 3D printed medal with their name on it.

The project team: Dalibor Horvat, Michael Elmecker and Mirko Schmitt
Image: private

“A great dynamic developed. The children had no inhibitions at all. Adults are much more concerned about it,” said Elmecker, Schmitt and Horvat.

This has also been shown by the fact that the exchange between the parents has so far not worked as well as theoretically expected. “It was important for us to involve the parents because a lot of reflection of what happened in training happens at home.”

Graduation with Blau-Weiß Linz

The last regular training day will take place on March 9th, and the children will have a special experience at the end of the project. It is planned that they will be allowed to enter the stadium for a Blau-Weiß-Linz game, and there will be free tickets as a bonus. The Agora company also sponsors food, drinks and T-shirts.

The three people from Mühlviertel want to see their football project as an impetus for more inclusion, but secretly they would like projects like theirs to no longer be necessary. Because that would mean that the social barriers between impaired and non-impaired people would finally be broken down.

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