Sport or physical activity plays crucial role in promoting social inclusion for people with disabilities, as well as it provides benefits in personal health and individual development (cognitive benefits, increased self-confidence). As regular exercise is important for children, children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) are no exception. Children with ASD tend to be less physically active than children who do not have developmental or learning disabilities, facing higher chances of becoming obese, which can turn into chronic diseases such as diabetes or bone problems.

Sailing is a sport that provides unique opportunities for children and young people. However, as a sport and a recreational activity, is not always accessible to all, owing, among others, to a physical or learning disability, mental health or social barriers.

It is therefore important to break such barriers, in order to ensure participation and equal opportunities in sport of children and young people with learning/developmental disabilities in sailing, since it is a sport that can help build self-confidence, self-reliance and practice social interaction with peers within a supported environment.


SailAway aims at fostering the social inclusion and developing the personal skills of children and youth with ASD, by enhancing their participation in team sports activities such as sailing.


Capacity building programme for sailing instructors on delivering inclusive sailing activities for children and youth with ASD

The capacity building programme will cover topics such as:

  • Understanding sports equality and equal opportunities and why it is important
  • Areas of difference in autism (social communication and interaction, sensory processing, information processing)
  • Identifying and dealing with barriers to participation for children and youth with ASD
  • Creating a safe and inclusive coaching environment
  • Developing coaching/instruction strategies that encourage inclusive introduction to sailing for children and youth with ASD
  • Using appropriate language and communicating effectively with children and youth with ASD etc.

Pilot implementation of the Capacity Building Program

Sailing instructors will be trained to effectively include children and youth with ASD in sailing activities, as well as to support other sailing instructors.

Guide for sailing clubs

A Guide for sailing clubs will be developed, with guidelines and practical strategies to implement when working with children and youth with ASD. The Guide will be based on desk review (reports, studies, other initiatives in local, national, European level) and field research (interviews with experienced professionals working with children and youth with ASD, interviews with parents of children and youth with ASD). The aim of the interviews is to identify effective and appropriate practices and methods that can facilitate the successful inclusion of children and youth with ASD in sailing activities.

E-learning platform

The online learning platform will host the capacity building curriculum modules developed under IO1.

Awareness raising toolkit for sailing clubs and parents with children and youth with or without ASD

The awareness raising toolkit, for sailing clubs and for parents on including children and youth with ASD in sailing, will be used by organizations and institutions supporting children and youth with ASD to inform sailing clubs and parents of children and youth with (and without) ASD for the benefits of including children and youth with ASD in sailing (both for children with and without ASD). This toolkit will include factsheets, leaflets, events, social media.


Funded by: Erasmus+

Duration: 01/01/2020-31/12/2021


Project Partners

KMOP (Project Coordinator)

Rijeka Sports Association for persons with disabilities (HR)
Montetauro Cooperativa Sociale (IT)
Mira’m Fundacio CV (SP)
Nautical Club of Paleon Faliron (GR)
Yaht Klub KAP (BG)




The European Commission's support for the production of this publication does not constitute an endorsement of the contents, which reflect the views only of the authors, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.