NEWS

INTERNATIONAL MEETING UNDER THE TRAIN4INCLUSIVE PROJECT WAS HELD IN SLOVENIA
09.09.2022
On the 8th and the 9th of September, 2022, in the town of Velenje, Slovenia, a partner meeting under the Train4Inclusive project was held. During the meeting the partners planned the future activities, discussed the results achieved so far, as well as the methodology by which the pilot local training events for sport coaches are going to be developed, as an innovative tool for education through sports activities. The project team is going to develop a specific training program for coaches of athletes with disabilities based on the information collected and analyzed in the previous stages of the project and the manual. The consortium consists of 5 European countries: Croatia, Italy, Slovenia, Bulgaria and Spain. Kalinka Gudarovska, board member, and Emilia Tsanova, part of the organization's team, were present on behalf of the Bulgarian sports development association (BSDA).

#TRAIN4INCLUSIVE PROJECT AIMS:
1. To ensure intensive exchange of good practices between people supporting and supervising the sport activities of people with disabilities;
2. To provide collected data in the sector of disability sport that could be used by scientists in different fields (medicine, psychology, social science) for improvement of treatments;
3. Improved quality of life of disadvantaged people and their parents or caretakers.

There is a wide acceptance in the academic literature that sport and physical activity generates wider positive benefits for individuals beyond basic enjoyment. In general, these benefits mainly refer to the development of characters, work discipline, teamwork, fair play and social interactions. More recently, academic research has highlighted the role of sport in promoting social inclusion for people with disabilities. Sport participation for people with disabilities mainly provides benefits at three different levels: personal health (mental and physical wellbeing), individual development (cognitive benefits, e.g. increased self-confidence, etc.), social/environmental (e.g. social integration). Various research studies have shown that access to sport activities for people with disabilities is primarily important for their health and wellbeing.

The increase in interest in sport for people with disabilities or para sport has been rapid in recent years, with Paralympic sport being accepted as highly competitive, professional and prestigious. At present, there is still little scientific literature investigating issues of training for athletes with disabilities, which indicates that the coaches of these athletes may not be receiving adequate training and support. Training is an essential element in the development of skills and attitudes of the athlete with a disability and in achieving sporting success. In addition to the common roles associated with coaching, other skills are required such as solving accessibility problems, promoting athlete independence, or providing social support. An important innovative aspect to be taken into account is the difference in resources and means between elite and non-professional sport, since elite coaches have a large support team and many multidisciplinary specialists (physicians, psychologists, nutritionists, physiotherapists, etc.). However, coaches of non-professional sportsmen and women such as athletes in training age must assume a more comprehensive service and must have more extensive knowledge of different areas to know how to treat their athletes. This project seeks to provide this knowledge and the development of material and multimedia resources that will allow a better training for this type of coaches.

#TRAIN4INCLUSIVE PROJECT WILL:
• Deliver state of art analysis of the sport for persons with disabilities landscape in the partner countries that will straighten the evidence base of scientific researches of training for inclusion through collecting information for setting research framework disability sport;
• Develop a practical Handbook #Train4Inclusive focussed on sport coaches working with people with disabilities in order to empower their efforts of inclusion through sport;
• Pilot local educational events that will involve sport coaches and kids from the partner countries as an innovative tool for education through sport activities. Project team will develop a specific educational training program for trainers of athletes with disabilities in organized and supervised sport activities based on all the information collected and analyzed in the previous stages of the project and the handbook;
• Organize multi-sport events in each project country to promote the inclusion of disadvantaged people in the society and the project;
• Deliver quality sport workshops - recreational family sports events (not simply a day-to-day task), in multiple countries at the same time (to be part of a very large scope) during the European Week of Sport 2021 and 2022;
• Create an e-learning platform that will contain all the educational materials that will be generated during the different phases of the project and will be used as a library of experiences that will collect the best cases that explain the progress of participants with disabilities in organized and supervised sports activities;
• The cooperation among volunteers and workers of different types of participating institutions working in the field of sport will allow the creation of a network open to 360° in PARA - SPORT, i.e. from the officer of the public organization to the end user (athlete of sport club), passing through NGOs sport;
• Methodology developed in scope of this project will be executed in 5 different countries ensuring wide reach and impact on brother region, due to the inclusion of target groups from multiple Europe countries (Croatia, Italy, Slovenia, Bulgaria and Spain).

#Train4Inclusive project is co-funded by the Erasmus+ Program of the European Union and the activities that will continue until the end of 2022 are coordinated for Bulgaria by the Bulgarian sports development association.