SpeeCh - Sport as a tool for integration
26.10.2017
On 26/10/2017, Bulgarian sport development association organized sport activities for residents in the State Community for Adults with Mental Disabilities in the village of Banya, Karlovo. During the sport sessions that took place in the community were filmed video footage, which aims to present the power of the sport as tool for integration and equal opportunities for all social groups. The sports activities were held with the support of the students of „Adapted Physical Activity and Sport” bachelor degree in National Sports Academy "Vasil Levski" and have also included local community members.

“The strength of sport to bring us together, to give us an equal start and open participation is extremely strong and we must use it as much as possible to reduce social imbalances in our society. Sports activities are being used for integration and socialization, but they are still not structured and regulated. I am pleased to share with my colleagues in Europe the wonderful initiatives that the State Community for Adults with Mental Disabilities in the village of Banya, Karlovo was realized in the past year. I would like to see such examples as a basis of a purposeful policy of using sport activities to tackle the issues that we face today and to see, maintain and develop the magic that sport brings" said Joanna Dochevska, Chariwoman of BSDA.

“I believe that quality education is strongly linked with the practice and the opportunities that the National Sports Academy "Vasil Levski" provides for practical training are one of the strongest aspects of the Academy. The students that we prepare have a very good basis for realization after going through the theoretical modules and then applying what they have learned in practice with the real target groups which they will work after completing their education. I am happy that the specialty "Adapted Physical Activity and Sport" enjoys increasing popularity in both forms of education - Bachelor's and Master's degrees, and in this field we are approaching the standards applied in the most developed countries", said Stefka Djobova - professor of the specialty and world recognized expert in the field of integration through sport.

The project SpeeCh - Sports psychic community project which started on January 1, 2017 and will realize various activities in the next two years.

Its main activities are:
• Creation of 3 integrated sports associations in Italy, Germany and Bulgaria.
• Members of associations: patients with mental disabilities and youth.
• Goal of Associations: to promote the social inclusion of patients with mental disabilities in society through sporting activities.
• Publication of a manual "Methodologies and techniques for managing sports activities related to social inclusion in the local communities of people with mental disabilities".

The partner organizations will be part of the European Integrated Soccer Network, which was created under a previous project funded by the Erasmus + program. By identifying and linking policy-makers in this field, sharing good national practices on methodologies and techniques for managing sports activities to support the social integration of patients with mental disabilities will be part of the project goals. Several international meetings will be held to prepare a public campaign for the active inclusion of the target group in social life.

In each of the partner countries, a campaign will be launched to present the project and the future creation of sports associations whose members will be patients from community-based psychiatric communities and young people from local communities. A sporting event will also be organized for 8 participants of the target group who will take part in an international sports tournament in Berlin, Germany. The product of the project, "Methodologies and techniques for managing sports activities related to the social inclusion in the local communities of people with mental disabilities” will be us at this tournament
The project is co-funded by the European Commission's Erasmus + Program - Small collaborative partnerships and will be implemented within 24 months. Partners: Italy, Bulgaria and Germany. Project partner from Bulgaria is Bulgarian sport development association.