ENGSO Youth (European Non Governmental Sports Youth Organization) organized a study session on sports as an inclusive tool in Budapest in October 9th – 16th 2011. The name of the study session was "Towards “all inclusive sports-for-all” - Youth opening doors to all abilities". Ida Kreutzman from FSS and Zoli Török-Czirmay from MAKOSZ were representing OBESSU at the event, where about 35 participants from different European countries took part.
The first two days where about getting to know eachother by different teambuilding activities and games, and to learn more about ENGSO. For many participants this was their first event. During the first days we also made up some common rules and discussed our feares and expectations. The interesting thing was that since this week would be about being inclusive in sports, we had four wheelchairs for our use the whole week. We would use them not only in specific games, but also during normal sessions and even during lunch. For some of the participants wheelchairs was nothing new, since a lot of them worked with disabled children in their every day work, but for some others, it was a real eye-opener.
The second night we did some evening sports, where we got the opportunity to try some adaptations of games used in the Paralympics. We learned why bodger is a great game to play no-matter the physical disabilty, we played goal-ball, blindfoalded and with a ball with a bell inside, and we also played games in wheelchairs.
The week continued with us defining exclusion and inclusion, we had to discuss a lot, and we also thought about the topic in a brighter perspective trough different activities. We also focused more on ourselves. We had to think about what we can contribute with, and what we can share about a project we're doing at home. This was maybe a bit challenging for us, since some of us had no actual projects that touched to theme of inclusion in sport and people with disabilities.
In the middle of the week we did some group work, where we had to adapt a specific situation depending on something. E.g. one group had a football team where one player had a visual imparment, how could they solve that? This workshop took a whole day, and we did it in different steps. We also learned about different ways of adapting, and talked a lot about when it is actually inclusive to adapt a game. Maybe someone with a visual imparment wants to play football with every body else in a usual way, and feels bad about other people changing the game just becouse of him or her?
After this the prep team had to change to rest of the programme, since we obviously developed differently as a group then what they had actually thought we would. Even though there were still days left, we did a reflection over the week and over what we'd learned. The two last days were instead about producing something concrete. A women joined us on the third last day, her name was Theresa, and she was a PE teacher from Scotland. She thought us a new game, called kinball. The reason why she chose that game was to put as all on the same level since no-one had ever heard of it, or played it. We were divided into teams, and every team got different instructions on how to create a game. The equipment needed, and the aim, varied among the groups. We started by bascially creating a game. Later we needed to think about rules and idea, and most importantly, adaptations. We had to make a game that was fun and interesting, but also able to be adapted for all kinds of disabilities. It turned out to be a real challenge, but since we did this for two whole days, and we got a lot of feedback from both the prep team and the other groups everyone felt they created something real. The games will be in a publication, and they are supposed to actually be played.The week gave a lot. Not only was it a great way to actually learn about inclusiveness from people who know so much, but it was also great to attend an event organized by a totally different organization. We now have ideas, inspiration and very much knowledge to do the most out of.