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Psycho-social challenges

For some children and youth, it takes a little extra to have a good experience with sports and become part of a positive community.

Based on more than 10 years of experience in organizing tailor-made sports activities for children and young people in vulnerable positions, GAME has developed 10 recommendations (DK – 10 gode råd) on how to create inclusive sports activities.

GAME’s psychosocial projects take, like GAME’s other work, its starting point in street sports and an empowerment approach. The goal is for children with psychosocial challenges to complete a street sports course which form a network in a leisure activity, that helps them to acquire social skills, improve their quality of life and positively affect schooling. For the past years the project has been running under the name of ‘Friendship on Asphalt’ and has been showing promising results for the children.

In GAME’s current project ‘Asphalt Meet-Up’, supported by the Danish Health Authorities, many of the children have previously had bad experiences in sports settings and GAME sees examples of children struggling with anxiety to such an extent that they had forgotten what their bodies could normally do such as climbing trees, jumping around, cycling or even just playing. They were simply not in touch with their body anymore.

In addition, children with psychosocial disabilities are sometimes motorically challenged and have underdeveloped physical abilities due to lack of exposure and positive experiences with physical activities, which in turn makes it even more difficult to become a member of a local sports team.

Parkour as a method
Especially parkour has been a successful activity in GAME’s psychosocial projects. It’s all about getting from A to B by running, jumping and climbing. Here the children adapt threir movements to the environment they are in, and it therefore makes few demands on equipment and facilities. Parkour as a form of sport is incredibly flexible and scalable, which means that everyone, regardless of level or physical shape, can participate in the same practice.

In order for the children to manage to be part of a positive sports community, GAME subsequently builds a bridge to the existing flexible street sports offers or to another sports association.

Meet Alexander who is participating in the previous project ‘Friendships on Asphalt’ project: