Team sports and social integration – University of Copenhagen

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17 November 2012

Team sports and social integration

Projektet undersøger hvorvidt og hvordan holdspil kan være med til at fremme inklusion af multietniske grupper af unge. Her ses unge fra et studie i Silkeborg. Foto: Silke Dankers.

The project investigates if and how team sport can improve social inclusion in young multi-ethnic groups. In this photo, young participants from a study are playing team sports. Photo: Silke Dankers.

Today 12.4% of the Danish population consists of immigrants or their descendants. Despite a wide perception of a national homogeny and similarity, Danish society has become increasingly multi-ethnic.

International as well as Danish studies show that participation in sport can be an effective way to achieve social inclusion, but sport (and particularly sports clubs) can also serve to exclude ethnic minority groups. There is a need for knowledge on how to develop and organise sports activities that can increase the social inclusion of participants from all ethnic groups. Team sports have special potential, in that the activities themselves are connected with the establishment of social relations.

Social inclusion in young multi-ethnic groups

The overall goal of the project is to build knowledge about how and to what extent team sports can be part of encouraging social inclusion in multiethnic groups.

The young participants are involved in a workshop. Photo: Silke Dankers.

The young participants are involved in a workshop. Photo: Silke Dankers.

More specifically, the project will develop, implement and evaluate teaching methods that are directed towards promoting an inclusive physical education model.

The project consists of two parts:

Study 1: The first part is a psychological study which includes a short-term implementation program that actively address trainers’ teaching style and the strengthening of the task-oriented motivational environment. The study will be evaluated via surveys that measure any changes in the participants’ ethnic and cultural identity.

Study 2: The other part will be a sociological study in which central inclusion and exclusion processes in the various multiethnic groups will be investigated. This will create a basis for the development of an implementation with changes in teaching style.

These two short-term implementation studies will co-operate to put focus on ways to develop, implement and evaluate the distance between theoretical and empirically-based methods to advance a more inclusive sports environment.