ISCA Secretariat: Vester Voldgade 100, 2, DK-1552 Copenhagen, Denmark - CVR 29 50 05 41 Tel: +45 29 48 55 51 / [email protected]
  • “Third Half” and community outreach the winning formula for integration through football initiative in Italy: New podcast
    When UISP and ATAS Trentino embarked on their MOVE Beyond pilot project in Northern Italy last year, neither partner predicted the challenges that would come to affect their integration of refugees through sport initiative. But despite a shift in political priorities in 2019 and the brutal disruption of the global pandemic in 2020, Beatrice Agostini and Cristina Brezzi still discovered a winning formula that has not only made asylum seekers active members of a local football club, but also brought their voices out into the community. Their story features in our latest MOVE Beyond podcast. Until last year, Cristina Brezzi, from social organisation ATAS Trentino, coordinated a reception centre hosting 80 asylum seekers. A drop in the number of asylum seekers arriving in Italy and a more conservative political outlook caused the centre to close in 2019, but her work with ATAS and UISP in Trentino is continuing through ISCA’s MOVE Beyond project – and is indeed planned to continue “beyond” this EU-supported project. Her collaborative partner, Beatrice Agostini, from UISP (Italian Union Sport for All), Italy’s biggest non-profit sport for development organisation, says their MOVE Beyond pilot is a follow-up of two earlier projects focusing on integrating asylum seekers through football. In their initial model, UISP organised the tournaments and ATAS coordinated the asylum seekers’ participation. But – as Beatrice points out – they didn’t manage to find the winning formula with their previous two attempts. “We realised we were not creating inclusion in this way. We were giving asylum seekers the occasion to do sport, but we were not including them in the society. The teams were made up of friends who already knew each other and there was the Mali team against the Nigerian team and they were speaking the same language between each other. So it wasn’t a real project of inclusion,” she says. “So we imagined a new football team made up of persons from different countries, Italy included, where we put together asylum seekers with university students, workers, whoever wanted to join to play together in a real amateur league. And that’s what we did.”
    “Third Half” and community outreach the winning formula for integration through football initiative in Italy: New podcast
  • IRTS Mentoring Programme launch set for September
    The open call to find 12 mentees to take part in the Integration of Refugees Through Sport (IRTS) Mentoring Programme closed on 5 August, and we’ve had 32 of applicants from 23 countries who put themselves forward for the unique chance to be mentored by an expert from the IRTS field. The mentors are equally excited about the evaluation of mentee applicants in August, which will finalise the selection of the mentorship pairs. The pairs will embark on a year-long developmental journey to build their capacity and increase their network while being supported to create meaningful change in their local communities. The programme’s timeline will encompass an online kick-off meeting in September followed by an offline meeting in November in Copenhagen and then continuing with monthly 1-on-1 meetings until everyone meets again in person in October 2021 for the MOVE Congress (date and location to be announced). As this is only the beginning of the Mentoring Programme, you still have a chance to join the next round (as a mentor or a mentee) in summer 2021 for the next cohort. We encourage you to follow the irts.isca.org website for updates and keep an eye on the ISCA Newsletter for future announcements. The IRTS Networking Platform is co-financed by the European Commission under its ‘EAC Sport as a Tool for Integration’ funding stream. By Laura-Maria TiidlaISCA IRTS Mentoring Programme Coordinator
    IRTS Mentoring Programme launch set for September
  • As Covid-19 disruptions continue ISCA and our members stay on track
    Comment by ISCA President Mogens Kirkeby. Pictured above: MOVE Week webinar on 'Public Space and Physical Activity During and After Covid-19'. For sure we are all aware of that the first half of 2020 has been very different and challenging. The overarching headline has been 'restrictions due to Covid-19'. All societies are affected, many sectors have been severely affected and we know that many ISCA members and partners are in very difficult situations. It is our common task to assist our members with help, ideas and solutions during and after the Covid-19 restrictions. It is our task to make sure our members see this international network, including ongoing relations and collaboration with other members, as part of the solution and not something they need to stop. For ISCA as an umbrella organisation Covid-19 is also a potential disruption. Such major changes can give severe problems for the work we do and the funding we need to have. However, ISCA’s strategy has been not to cancel activities but to handle them online or in other ways. Luckily for our sector, physical activity has remained a relevant and needed part of our everyday lives under lockdown, and we and many of our members have been able to adapt quickly to put our activities online. We have also organised peer-to-peer support meetings for our members, NowWeMOVE Campaign National Coordinators and project partners so they could openly discuss how they are dealing with lockdowns and reopening in their sports and fitness clubs, or how they have adjusted their activities as NGOs. The brainstorming started early and has led to inspiring results. At this point we can say that we have done a good job. We can look back on a very well handled six months and know that we came through this period quite successfully. That is a very good sign! We know that the restrictions from Covid-19 are still around and that difficult situations can return or persist in the coming months – but at this point I would like to assure our members we are striving to place our work to keep people moving and active in the best possible position for the future! ISCA events and projects continued online under lockdownNo Elevators Day (April) adopting the #UseTheStairs home workout messageMOVE Week online workouts and webinars (May)NowWeMOVE National Coordinators online peer support seminars on dealing with the crisis in sports clubs, gyms and outdoor facilitiesMOVE Transfer EU-China Mobilities (online meetings and intercontinental conference in June)Physical Literacy for Life (online meetings and webinars)Integration of Refugees Through Sport: MOVE Beyond (online meetings and podcasts)Integration of Refugees Through Sport: Networking Platform (launch of platform and conference in June)Partner projects and events including European School Sport Day (March national coordinators’ webinar and meetings), CHANGE (EOSE), Neighbourhood Sport (UISP), Sport Club for Health (University of Zagreb), and Inter-Active Living for Mental Health (European Network of Active Living for Mental Health).Development of online learning courses for our sector at learn.isca.org ISCA’s involvement in special initiatives during lockdownWorld Record in Online Physical Education (April) organised by ISCA member V4Sport.Global Design Challenge for Physical Activity 72-hour hackathon (June) organised by by a consortium of Irish partners including the University College Cork Sport, Sport Ireland, the Federation of Irish Sport, the Irish National Centre for Outdoor Education and Training and Cork Local Sports Partnership.ISCA was the first organisation to map the reopening of organised sport and gyms around the world in May/June.ISCA contributed to a special issue of the Cities & Health academic journal with a comment piece pondering the short-, mid- and long-term impact of Covid-19 on indoor and outdoor sport and physical activity. 
    As Covid-19 disruptions continue ISCA and our members stay on track
  • Grassroots sport organisations should discuss “fundamental” questions rather than dismiss esports
    Comment by ISCA President Mogens Kirkeby. Photo: Bo Nymann (DGI archive).  Over the past few years the esports world has developed significantly. This has raised new questions and considerations from the sports sector. Is esports really a sport and should it fall under the coordination of organised sports associations?Some associations have reacted and embraced this new activity. Some have chosen to include only the esports games that imitate sport, such as football, despite these sport imitation games comprising only a small percentage of the esports world. The commercial side of esports has also developed. Across the world we are seeing professional teams playing tournaments for prizes and a huge industry that is very active. Seen from an ISCA point of view, our members are approaching the situation in a variety of ways. Some have embraced esports; some see other entities in their countries taking the lead; some are trying to evaluate and decide how to react to esports. However, the main question is not just whether esports is a new sports activity that sports associations can choose to include in their programmes or not. There are some fundamental questions to be discussed, such as whether it is sport or not and whether it should have the same legal status and privileges that sport has in many countries. Our Danish member, DGI, introduced an esports support programme to their member clubs three years ago – with success. Many of these clubs have started esports activities as a way to reach new (young) participants and to connect the esports world with the values typically followed by traditional sports settings. Among of the actions taken by DGI was to create a code of ethics and provide inspiration for organising healthy activities that can be connected to the esports activities. DGI argued to the public authorities that esports in non-profit clubs/associations should have the same rights and benefits as football, swimming, etc. As a result, DGI challenged a decision not to give (non-profit) club based esports VAT exemption. The nine-month process ended in the last week of June with a decision that esports would have the same status and rights as other sport activities in non-profit clubs, including VAT Exemption. You can see the decision and press release (in English) here. Esports is here to stay for some time, and I believe that the grassroots non-profit sport organisations that choose to embrace it can be important stakeholders in supporting an ethical, social and healthy environment for the young people who spend their leisure time playing esports.
    Grassroots sport organisations should discuss “fundamental” questions rather than dismiss esports
  • Application deadline extended for Integration of Refugees Through Sport mentoring
    Would you like to be mentored by an expert in Integration of Refugees Through Sport (IRTS)? ISCA's 12-month IRTS Network Mentoring Programme includes online courses, monthly individual meetings and two offline events (travel and accommodation costs covered). We are currently searching for 12 mentees who would be paired with an identified expert from the field. The 12-month mentoring programme offers a chance to develop professionally and personally, get access to an international network and grow as a leader to have a bigger impact in the social inclusion through sport field. The IRTS Network project is coordinated by ISCA in partnership with 70+ organisations and stakeholders. All of the details can be found in the document below and on the website: https://irts.isca.org/mentoring/. The deadline for applying is now extended until 5 August 23:59 CEST. Apply today to benefit from a unique journey in the sport field. If you would be interested in joining the Programme as a mentor, you will also have a chance to join us in summer 2021. Follow the website for updates. We invite you to create the solutions with us! Apply now or read more here. By Laura-Maria Tiidla, ISCA Project Manager
    Application deadline extended for Integration of Refugees Through Sport mentoring
“Third Half” and community outreach the winning formula for integration through football initiative in Italy: New podcast
When UISP and ATAS Trentino embarked on their MOVE Beyond pilot project in Northern Italy last year, neither partner predicted the challenges that would come to affect their integration of refugees through sport initiative. But despite a shift in political priorities in 2019 and the brutal disruption of the global pandemic in 2020, Beatrice Agostini and Cristina Brezzi still discovered a winning formula that has not only made asylum seekers active members of a local football club, but also brought their voices out into the community. Their story features in our latest MOVE Beyond podcast. Until last year, Cristina Brezzi, from social organisation ATAS Trentino, coordinated a reception centre hosting 80 asylum seekers. A drop in the number of asylum seekers arriving in Italy and a more conservative political outlook caused the centre to close in 2019, but her work with ATAS and UISP in Trentino is continuing through ISCA’s MOVE Beyond project – and is indeed planned to continue “beyond” this EU-supported project. Her collaborative partner, Beatrice Agostini, from UISP (Italian Union Sport for All), Italy’s biggest non-profit sport for development organisation, says their MOVE Beyond pilot is a follow-up of two earlier projects focusing on integrating asylum seekers through football. In their initial model, UISP organised the tournaments and ATAS coordinated the asylum seekers’ participation. But – as Beatrice points out – they didn’t manage to find the winning formula with their previous two attempts. “We realised we were not creating inclusion in this way. We were giving asylum seekers the occasion to do sport, but we were not including them in the society. The teams were made up of friends who already knew each other and there was the Mali team against the Nigerian team and they were speaking the same language between each other. So it wasn’t a real project of inclusion,” she says. “So we imagined a new football team made up of persons from different countries, Italy included, where we put together asylum seekers with university students, workers, whoever wanted to join to play together in a real amateur league. And that’s what we did.”

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The best way to look back at the grassroots sport sector

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New ISCA website coming soon! Our mascot is working very hard on a brand new ISCA website and we look forward to revealing it to you in 2020. Meanwhile, we will still keep you updated here with the latest news from ISCA and our partners.

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MOVE WEEK

The MOVE Week Gym is a new addition to the MOVE Week programme. From 25-31 May we will stream live workout videos presented by our members, MOVE Agents and partners.

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