The sports department of the GO! atheneum Ieper is highly motivated to commit itself to the Sport!Op!- project. A team of 7 senior students have been working very hard on integrating vulnerable young people into society in sporting and social terms. Together with their mentors Renato Brion and Björn Vanisacker they have approached three different target groups.
The first of these groups are the refugees from the Fedasil asylum seeker center in Langemark-Poelkapelle. To promote and disseminate sports, the seven students organized a cricket match for the young adults and some games for the children at the center. For these events, our students travelled to the center, as due to limited mobility it was difficult for the refugees to come to our facilities. In addition, some women are not allowed to participate in sports in public areas because of their religious beliefs.
The second group of participants is the OKAN class, which is a class where non-native speakers can go to school and learn Dutch. This group is highly motivated and have got to know and play all kinds of sports. On a weekly basis we provide a different sports experience where some sports students are the coaches and other participants in the activities. Autonomy is the keyword in these lessons, the students and the other participants help to decide which activities we need to provide.
We wanted to reach more vulnerable youngsters, so we expanded by contacting the ‘De Mote’ primary school. This school is located on the campus of the atheneum, where vulnerable children are a large part of the population. In the near future we will also start up activities for this group. We think it’s important to teach these children all kinds of sports at a young age, so they can discover their talents.
So far everyone has been driven to participate in the sports activities. We are convinced that the integration of our students in the sports culture of the vulnerable youngsters will provide positive outcomes for general inclusion. Another big help is the fact that we have a lot of facilities and cooperate with the local football club KVK Westhoek.