SENTRY-SPORT visits facilities fostering social inclusion and non-discrimination through sport

Rome, Italy, April 2022 – The Italian Association for Sport for All (Unione Italiana Sport per Tutti, UISP) hosted the third meeting of the SENTRY-SPORT project on 11-12 April. Representatives from the consortium visited the Fulvio Bernardini Municipal Sports Centre and the Liberi Nantes Sport Association, the first football team in Italy made up entirely of refugees.

The third meeting of SENTRY-SPORT gathered representatives from the consortium, which include the Italian Association for Sport for All (UISP), the International Sports and Culture Association (ISCA, Denmark), Red Deporte (Spain), the Vienna Institute for International Dialogue and Cooperation (VIDC, Austria), Koinsep en Drasei (Greece) and Efus.

The SENTRY-SPORT partners discussed the development of the toolkit, which includes guidelines for grassroot stakeholders on how to prevent, monitor and fight discrimination in sport, as well as promising local practices. They also talked about the official launch of the website by the end of April 2022. An online capacity-building workshop will be held at the end of the May and the pilot events will have started by June in a range of different European cities in order to test the project’s methodology.

A sports centre “per tutti”

The consortium visited the Centro Sportivo Fulvio Bernardini, a municipal sports centre run by UISP on the outskirts of Rome. Built in 1987, it was designed as a barrier-free environment, a truly disabled-accessible sports centre for all. This avant-garde architecture truly embraces UISP’s beliefs and reaffirms an idea that is central to its work: Sport per tutti, that is Sport for all.

Sport educators organise climbing sessions for visually impaired and blind people, in which non-blind people participate with their eyes covered. The centre also offers swimming lessons for refugees and migrants to help them overcome trauma resulting from journeys across the sea and (re)learn how to swim.

Liberi Nantes: the first football team in Italy made up entirely of refugees

Originally started as a response to racism, Liberi Nantes has now become the first football team composed entirely of refugees and asylum seekers to attend an official tournament of the Italian Football Federation. Founded in 2007, the Liberi Nantes is the first Sports Association in Italy which provides free access to sport for refugees and asylum seekers. All sports and training activities, such as football, rugby, hiking and urban trekking, are completely free of charge. 

“Liberi Nantes is an open community where we foster liberty, respect and a welcoming spirit. We believe that playing games is a universal dimension of human growth and we offer sport as a meeting place and tool for mutual development.”

They provide women and men escaping from persecution and conflict with a place to feel free, recover their dignity, rebuild themselves and create new relationships of friendship and faith. The Association also offers them Italian language lessons through sport and Italian cooking classes. They have recently built a pizza oven on the premises.

Liberi Nantes and the European Prize for Social Integration Through Sport
Liberi Nantes took part in the European Prize for Social Integration Through Sport-Sport+, which was a project led by Efus in 2015-2016 to promote the use of amateur sport as a channel to combat discrimination in all its forms. The association is featured in the project’s publication, which was released in 2017. More information here