Sport is a great tool to achieve social inclusion for people with an impairment. This is the vision shared by the FC Barcelona Foundation, the Agitos Foundation and the International Paralympic Committee (IPC), who have signed a partnership agreement to develop sport projects with this common goal.
The collaboration for the first year includes the development of material on sports for the inclusion of people with an impairment based on the experience and materials of the I’mPOSSIBLE program of the Agitos Foundation, which will be launched globally on Sunday (3 December). The new content introducing five Para sports will be implemented within the FutbolNet methodology and gives recommendations for the inclusion of people with impairment to eradicate and minimise the barriers to their active participation.
The new module, called “Enhancing inclusion of children with an impairment through sports” will complement the FC Barcelona Foundation’s FutbolNet methodology. Over the next year the organisations will work together to adapt the content to the needs of the implemented projects.
The agreement was signed by First Vice-President of FC Barcelona and FC Barcelona Foundation Jordi Cardoner, IPC President Andrew Parsons and IPC Chief Executive Officer Xavier Gonzalez, in a signing ceremony on Saturday (2 December) in the Camp Nou’s Presidential Box.
Cardoner said: "I am very happy to sign this agreement, so the three organisations can improve the lives of boys and girls with an impairment through sport. This agreement will also allow us to complement our FutbolNet methodology and achieve better results to integrate people with an impairment within our programmes”.
Parsons said: “I am delighted to see the partnership kick-off with this synergy between I’mPOSSIBLE and FutbolNet education programmes. Thanks to the global reach of the Barça Foundation, youngsters from around the world taking part in FutbolNet activities will also learn more about the Paralympic Movement and the Paralympic values of courage, determination, inspiration and equality.”
Gonzalez said: “The Agitos Foundation is very pleased to announce this partnership with FC Barcelona Foundation as both organisations share the vision that sport is a powerful tool to promote a more inclusive society. We look forward to this fruitful collaboration and we are sure that this exchange of knowledge will help continue changing society’s perceptions toward people with impairment.”
Social inclusion is one of the main strategic lines of the FC Barcelona Foundation, which has several programmes, among which is the programme for children with an impairment. This programme is developed under FutbolNet, which uses football as a tool to promote values among young people through an innovative teaching methodology.
The objective of the FC Barcelona Foundation is to provide support to children and young people by fostering integration, inclusion and social cohesion and helping to prevent violence by using sport as an educational tool. It is a tool designed to make a big difference in the communities where it is implemented. The dimensions of its social impact vary in each context, depending on each specific disposition and the cultural context of the community where it is being implemented.
The International Paralympic Committee is the global governing body for the Paralympic Movement. Its purpose is to organise the Paralympic Games and the Paralympic Winter Games as well as to act as the International Federation for ten sports, supervising and co-ordinating World Championships and other competitions. The vision of the IPC is ‘to enable Para athletes to achieve sporting excellence and inspire and excite the world’. Its aspiration is ‘to make for a more inclusive society for people with an impairment through Para sport’.
The IPC’s development arm, the Agitos Foundation supports its vision and aspiration by implementing projects to develop sport and change lives of thousands of people. It’s priority themes are: providing sustainable pathways into grassroots and competitive Para sport; using the power of sport to help the world to understand impairment and embrace inclusion; encouraging worldwide representation amongst competing athletes and greater diversity; and empowering athletes to maximise their talent, living the Paralympic values in a way that inspires the next generation.