Good practices

Sailaway - Supporting the participation of children and youth with developmental disabilities in sailing

Sailaway - Supporting the participation of children and youth with developmental disabilities in sailing

The literature review has highlighted that 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). Although, team sports can be especially challenging since persons with ASD have also trouble with communication and social interaction. It is therefore important, to help break such these barriers, in order to enhance the participation of children and young people with learning/developmental disabilities.

In order to achieve this, it is essential to increase the awareness and the skills of sailing professionals and clubs as to how to involve adequately children and young people with ASD, which are often limited or completely lacking, so that they are able to provide sailing opportunities and programmes, as well as the awareness of parents of children with ASD about the benefits and access to such opportunities.

SailAway boosted the participation of children and youth with ASD in sailing, by improving the skills of sailing professionals and clubs on how to effectively involve them in sailing activities and programmes, as well as raising the awareness of parents of children with ASD about the benefits and access to such opportunities.

This project aimed to: 1) enhance the skills of sailing coaches/instructors through providing knowledge and key information on delivering inclusive activities for children and youth with ASD and engaging them in meaningful ways; 2) raise awareness in sailing clubs on providing inclusive sailing activities for children and youth with ASD; and 3) raise awareness of parents of children with ASD, focusing on the possibilities and access to sailing programmes/opportunities for their children within supported environments.

Year(s): 2019 - 2021

Target group(s): Sailing professionals (coaches/instructors) and clubs; Parents of children with ASD; Children with ASD

Website or other online channels: https://www.sailawayproject.eu/

Methodology

Taking into consideration the objectives and purpose of Sailaway, the project was committed to the development of: a capacity building programme for sailing instructors and training them on how to effectively include children and youth with ASD in sailing activities; a guide for sailing clubs, containing guidelines and practical strategies to implement when working with children and youth with ASD; an e-learning platform, which will host the capacity building curriculum modules; an awareness raising toolkit to inform sailing clubs and parents of children and youth with and without ASD for the benefits of including them in sailing. Also, the partnership organized info days, as well as a final conference, held in Greece, to disseminate and promote the results of Sailaway Project.

Type of product

Online resource Course / Training

Brief description of the outcomes

Impact on target groups / Transferability potential

The project developed a website where it is possible to get free access to several products/documents that were produced during the project lifetime and that are still available, targeting different target groups (professionals, sailing clubs and parents).

On the website, it is possible to download a report containing key information found on a desk research made by the partnership, focused on topics as state policies on sport and disability; previous studies and research; action plans and specific projects on our topic of interest; evaluation of future projects and plans.

It is also possible to get free access to effective resources as the info guides for sailing clubs and for parents, as well as the infographics for sailing clubs and for parents, where it is possible to better understand the Sailaway project and relevant information about dealing with children and young people with ASD.

The capacity building program, available in Sailaway Educational Platform, includes the following modules:

-        Module 1: Understanding sports equality and equal opportunities and it is important

-        Module 2: Areas of Difference in Autism

-        Module 3: Identifying and dealing with barriers to participation for children and youth with ASD

-        module 4: Creating a safe and inclusive coaching environment for children and youth with ASD

-        Module 5: Developing coaching/instruction strategies that encourage inclusive participation of children and youth with ASD in sailing

-        Module 6: Appropriate language use and effective communication when working with children and youth with ASD

Sailing professionals that participated in the piloting phase of the capacity building program were very satisfied with the training action and recommended it to other professionals.

Promoter of the initiative: KMOP

Country: Greece

Languages available: English Greek Hungarian Italian Portuguese Spanish

Website or other online channels: https://www.kmop.gr/

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