INCLUDE: Inclusiveness in the world of sport

Monday 5 September 2022

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Valentina Vezzali, Olympic fencing champion, emphasised ‘the importance of the recognition at constitutional level of the educational value of sporting activity’, pointing out that ‘sport, together with the family and the school, are the three main areas in which children are trained, so that as adults they can become aware citizens’.

In recent years, we have witnessed a sustained growth in the practice of sport by citizens, especially among those who practise it on an ongoing basis. However, wide gender and territorial differences in access to sport persist. A narrow circle of privileged people participate in most sporting competitions because access to sport is still restricted by sexuality, body norms, class, racialisation and religion.

The INCLUDE project recognises the pivotal role and multiplier effect that staff in sports academies have on the physical and psychological development of young people, and they are required to act as educators, counsellors, friends and role models. Consequently, it is essential that they possess the necessary knowledge and skills to effectively fulfil this responsibility, support their young athletes and counter discriminatory behaviour.

In this sense, their technical skills must be accompanied by a pedagogical capacity that enables them to identify and address cases of discrimination and anti-social behaviour and to educate both young people and parents on inclusiveness.

INCLUDE’s objectives are directly linked to the new EU Work Plan for Sport for 2017-2020, which calls on EU Member States and the Commission to prioritise promoting a sense of social inclusion and integration through sport, especially for marginalised groups, eliminating racism and xenophobia and promoting gender equality through sport.

The comprehensive 24-month programme includes research, direct action and development of educational resources to train and support coaches, managers and staff of sports academies. In addition, the INLCUDE project aims to establish a European network in the field of youth sport that can provide the framework for the creation of common approaches and greater commitment to the use of innovative teaching tools to educate staff and coaches to safeguard respect for diversity and educate young athletes to understand and celebrate inclusion and respect for others.

If you are interested in the themes of the project and would like to contribute to INCLUDE’s activities, you can contact Claudia Fauzia at:

About the project

INCLUDE is an ERASMUS-SPORT project (Cooperation partnerships).


For further information

Read more about INCLUDE.

Contact Claudia Fauzia: