You are here

Sport and vulnerable communities


Sport and vulnerable communities

On day one of the Educasport forum, a round table discussion sought to explore the question: Can sport be used as a tool for integrating vulnerable communities?

The round table discussion was facilitated by Miguel Cornejo, a professor from the University of Concepcion in Chile. Presenters included Marc Pedros from Fundacion Salud y Comunidad España, an initiative using sport to support prisoner rehabilitation in Spain and Thomas Enfrin from handicap sur le monde, which seeks to assist local initiatives around the world using sport for the inclusion of people with disabilities.

After each presentation the audience was given the opportunity to ask questions directly to the presenters. Questions varied greatly from critical enquiries into why the presenter’s initiative adopted the approach presented to trying to learn more about the motivation behind the initiative.

At the end of the session, time was also given for any additional questions and for comments on the topic of the round table.

What is vulnerability?
The final presentation came from a delegation representing the youth forum, and included participants from SOS Villages d’enfants and the Tottenham Hotspurs Foundation. Participants of the parallel forum were asked to discuss the same question of whether sport could be used to integrate vulnerable communities.

The results of this discussion were that the term vulnerability was a relative notion. Delegates said that it was too difficult to classify who is vulnerable and who is not. An example was provided of whether a homeless child who has been placed into foster care would still be considered vulnerable. The youth forum, thus, decided that more needed to be learned on the topic of vulnerability before answering the question at hand.

On the role of sport in their personal development, the youth delegation shared that, “Sport is an important part of life. It allows us to learn because we want to and not because we have to. It is about respecting yourself, others and the rules etc. It is about accepting defeat with humility and pride and it helps overcome the past.

It was suggested by a member of the audience that we are all vulnerable and that it was a question of levels of vulnerability.

Despite the possible relativity of the word, the examples given by presenters made it clear that sport is being used around the world to help integrate vulnerable communities, whether in prison cells in Spain or by including people with disabilities in social development through sport.


Article type



Stephen Reynard


Wednesday, November 27, 2013 - 23:00