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PLAY'IN Together, the success of an Erasmus+ project to change views on disability
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blind football
Shaping sports games that meet the objectives of inclusion and education is an essential condition for sport to be a real vector of social change and awareness. An example with the PLAY'IN Together project on the theme of disability.

This article was submitted as part of our call to reshape the future of Sport and Development .

On June 14 and 15, the final event of the Play'In Together program was held at the Catholic University of Louvain (UCLL) in Belgium, organized by PLAY International and UCLL around the treatment of the theme of disability. through sports play among children.

The objective of this meeting was to take stock of a program which for three years created and deployed sports games addressing three axes:

  • Putting children without disabilities into a handicap situation so that they change their outlook on people with disabilities
  • Proposing new games for children with motor or cognitive disabilities so that they can play and flourish like everyone else
  • And promote inclusive sporting practices with games with rules adapted to the diversity of audiences

If the fight against all forms of discrimination is progressing in Europe, it is clear that all too often, young and old alike convey stereotypes that prevent the construction of inclusive societies for all.

Collective innovation for a more inclusive society

Convinced that sport can be a factor of social change and awareness, PLAY International was therefore, in 2019, at the initiative of creating a consortium of European partners and proposed to the European Union a project aimed at use sports games as a tool for awareness, inclusion and progression on the theme of disability.

The Play'In Together program was thus born from the meeting between researchers from UCLL, the Czech National Olympic Committee, educators from Play International specializing in education through sport in Kosovo and France, and teachers from the Academy of Créteil, of the European Non-Governmental Sport Association , and of the Bulgarian Sport Development Association , of the European Paralympic Committee and the Organizing Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games of Paris 2024. The principle of this project was to be based both on recent research and on feedback from everyone to develop three kits for several play sessions*:

  • Changing views on disability
  • Beyond deficiencies
  • All friends, all players

Each of these kits is based on the use of simple traditional games whose rules could be modified to make them usable in school and extra-curricular sectors with simple equipment. The choice of traditional games is justified since, as opposed to more traditional sporting practices, these put all children on an initial level of equality.

If everyone knows dodge ball, in the same way as sports like football, the latter do not put those who practice it frequently on an equal footing with those who practice it more rarely. Traditional games allow simpler adaptations to different audiences and the invention of new rules or the use of objects to symbolize situations or representations more easily put the child in postures that he or she is not familiar with. habit of knowing.

In its design phase, this program initially planned exchanges of expertise, then co-creation and finally test sessions during steering committees in Paris, Prague or Sofia. The richness of this process, although made complicated to implement given the health context, is a specificity of PLAY International which attaches great importance to connecting experts on the subject addressed (here, disability in children) and educators.

These meetings and exchanges enabled the co-creation of innovative content which was then tested with specific audiences to finally be adapted and corrected. If this co-creation phase required time, it was no less essential as an educational progression on a theme which deals with inequalities, inclusions, cognitive, motor or psycho-motor parameters in children requires several back and forths between teachers. It's about being sure to design games that meet the objectives of inclusion and education by allowing each child to find their place.

Useful educational tools accessible to all

The two days of closing meetings in Louvain provided feedback and rich lessons that it seemed important to capitalize on for each participant. Initially, this joint creation process allowed each partner to see how exchanges between experts and teachers allow the development of demanding, ambitious but sufficiently flexible game sessions to be deployed in a school or extra-curricular environment, in different countries with different educational contexts.

Then, this closing seminar showed how children, too often, had a strong propensity to reproduce the stereotypes of their elders on disability, but above all, a note of hope, how it was easy to deconstruct these stereotypes and to address by children inclusive behavior in a fun way while practicing physical activity. Finally, the various feedback from the training of facilitators has often made it possible to highlight the poverty of many countries in terms of inclusive content or awareness-raising on disability.

In this regard, the Louvain seminar showed both the relevance and success of the Play'In Together program and the need to continue to implement wherever possible these games that combine pleasure, physical activity and education on disability. It is also for this reason that PLAY International has already planned to develop these games in France in conjunction with the Organizing Committee for the Paris 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games, which recognized their usefulness and need.

______________________________________________________________________________

Henri Lelorrain is educational referent for PLAY International , he brings his educational, didactic and disciplinary expertise to the development, implementation and monitoring of the various programs developed and deployed by the missions. He ensures the quality of the content and training created within the missions and with partners; as well as the implementation of programs on their educational dimension.

* Free access kits in the “ Educational Media Library

Tags

Country
Belgium
France
Region
Europe
Sport
All sports
Sustainable Development Goals
10 – Reduced inequalities
Target Group
Practitioners

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