Bowling without borders

Sport for social integration and inclusion

 Country: Italy
 Site: Lombardy
 Period: October 2016 – September 2017
Partners: ADS Tutto Bowling; UISP – Comitato territoriale di Monza-Brianza
 Sponsors: Cariplo Foundation, Lombardy Region

Context
This project will contribute to address, by an innovative and sustainable approach, the need of developing social aggregation and  promoting new relations among youths, also coming from different countries and backgrounds, for example disabled people and unaccompanied foreign children.
While competitive aspects will be understated, the focus will be on those elements related to non-excessively intensive sport exercise and the needs of youth socialization and  inclusion, a primary objective that will be pursued by involving schools in suburban areas with high risks of marginalization for students, besides organizations working daily with disabled children and unaccompanied foreign children (associations, cooperatives, immigration shelters etc.).

Objectives
The general objective of the project is promoting sport practice as a tool for social inclusion and integration, encouraging youths to undertake sports.
The specific objective is strengthening participation to sports  by promoting bowling, valorizing the intrinsic capacity of this sport to develop social aggregation, intercultural integration and participation by students and their parents, including unaccompanied foreign children and disabled children.

Beneficiaries
The direct beneficiaries of this project are boys and girls aged 6-19 (25 for disabled youths), divided in three categories:

  • 12,000 students of 80 primary, middle and high schools, both public and private, in Lombardy;
  • 20 unaccompanied foreign children;
  • 100 people with mental and physical disabilities.

In addition, 30 instructors of the association and Lombardy sports centers will improve their skills in the field of youth social inclusion and the promotion of actions addressed to vulnerable groups, and at least 60 families of beneficiary children will be involved in activities related to sport promotion and social integration though sport.

Expected results
Over 12,000 boys and girls, including middle and high school students, unaccompanied foreign children and youths with disabilities, will be involved in sport activities related to the bowling game in Lombardy.
The action is focused on sporting exercise intended as  opportunity for aggregation, fun, training to sports practice, without considering performance as the major goal. The practice of bowling will allow dissemination of knowledge of this sport  and its intrinsic features (developing motor skills, physical exercise, perseverance, preventing obesity etc.) also among population groups which often have less opportunities to practice sports and  to enjoy socialization occasions.

The sports centers and the involved children’s families  will gain specific skills  in the field of youth social inclusion and the valorization of sport as a tool for integration.
Throughout the path proposed by the project, 30 instructors will be trained and accompanied and they will manage the different steps of the action in the involved bowling centers, and at least 60 families will be involved in the process. The enhanced professional skills of operators and increased awareness of parents will improve the capacity to meet the needs of young beneficiaries, furtherly improving the effectiveness of sports activities and their attraction for a young audience also when coming from neighborhoods at risk and from backgrounds of migration and disability.

All these results shall be addressed by a specific final evaluation.