SAILAWAY – Supporting the participation of children and youth with developmental disabilities in sailing

SailAway aims at fostering the social inclusion and developing the personal skills of children and youth with ASD.

Grant Agreement Number: 613241-EPP-1-2019-1-EL-SPO-SCP

Funded by: Erasmus+        Duration: 01/2020-12/2021   


Challenge

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.

Innovation

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.

Action

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.

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

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.

The online learning platform will host the capacity building curriculum modules that will be developed.

The awareness raising toolkit 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.

European Commission’s support for the production of this content 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.

Project Partners

KMOP – Social Action and Innovation Centre (Project Coordinator)
Rijeka Sports Association for persons with disabilities (Croatia)
Montetauro Cooperativa Sociale (Italy)
Mira’m Fundacio CV (Spain)
Nautical Club of Paleon Faliron (Greece)
Institute of Development (IoD) (Cyprus)

Yaht Klub KAP (Bulgaria)

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