28-29 November 2017: INSPORT+ Project Final Event

INSPORT+ Closes with Memorable Final Event in Brussels!

On 28-29 November 2017, the INSPORT+ partnership and stakeholder guests gathered in Brussels for the Final Event of the project. After nearly 24 months since its official start, over 30 representatives from the 9 countries participating in the project travelled to Brussels to present the final INSPORT+ results, recommendations, and testimonials from partners to the EU and fellow European stakeholders – on invitation from ACES Europe and the European Parliament.

The two days began on 28 November, with a busy and well-attended internal meeting among partners at ACES Europe headquarters in Brussels. Here, partners had the chance to coordinate their interventions and content to present at the European Parliament the next day. The meeting was followed by a lively common dinner, where partners continued their discussions.

On 29 November, INSPORT+ partners took centre stage at the European Parliament to present the project’s main results to representatives of the European Commission, the European Parliament, and fellow stakeholders. The event opened with a round of welcoming words from our host and Member of the European Parliament (MEP) Mr. Andrey Kovatchev as well as ACES Europe General Secretary Hugo Alonso, along with a few opening remarks by a member of the Municipality of Prato’s Council, as the main beneficiary organisation in charge of managing the project.

Under the leadership of INSPORT+ Project Manager – Sara Monti – from the Municipality of Prato, the consortium then presented the main highlights in the project’s outcomes, activities, and recommendations, including testimonials personally addressed by all the partners, as follows:

  • Building on its predecessor (the INSPORT Project)’s experiences, INSPORT+ undertook a series of activities to further promote the social inclusion of people with mental disabilities and mental health disorders, including:
    • Mobilising local stakeholder groups in order to support voluntary-based sport activities and promote increased cooperation among relevant stakeholders;
    • Improving the knowledge base on the delivery of sport and physical activity for people with mental disabilities through research into partners’ local, regional and national contexts;
    • Exchanging and testing information, experiences and good practices about effective ways of promoting the social inclusion of people with mental disabilities and mental health disorders through sport;
    • Raising awareness on the role of sport as a means to promote social inclusion of people suffering from mental disabilities and mental health disorders.
  • To illustrate partners’ achievements in these activities, the INSPORT+ presentation showed, more specifically, the following results under each of the project areas (called ‘Work Packages – WPs’):
    • Local Stakeholder Groups (WP2)
      • Mapping exercise and set-up of local stakeholder groups in each location
      • Roundtables & meetings with local stakeholders
      • Training workshops with the Italian School of Mentoring
      • Sport events organised and attended with local stakeholders
      • Dialogue with local and regional authorities & institutions
      • 6 Local stakeholder groups:

                            250 organisations & 300 representatives

  • Research and Country Profiles (WP6) with information about contexts for
    • Sport:
  • Stakeholders responsible for the provision of sport and physical activity in each location
    • Mental Disability:
  • Specific support mechanisms and frameworks for people with mental disabilities and mental health disorders
  • Prevalence in the population
  • Prevalence of persons practicing a sport or a physical activity on a regular basis
  • Engagement with other members of the community
    • Interregional Events exchanging and implementing good practices (WP3)
      • 8 Interregional Events: one in each partner location
      • 8 Conferences, 8 technical seminars & meetings + mentoring trainings
      • Demonstration of 44 good practises in adapted sport activities
      • Visits to 10 centres of excellence
      • 5 city-mobilisation events (+ cultural activities)
      • 200 people involved in the events, and 520 participants in seminars & meetings
    • The INSPORT+ Vademecum containing…
      • the Country Reports “Mental Health and Sport: the Scenario in INSPORT+ Partners’ Locations” outlining the conditions, frameworks and relevant issues at each partner location and their respective national contexts with regards to sport services available to people with a mental disability
      • Interregional events and Good Practises tested and shared during the events and the project
      • ‘Look into the future’: recommendations aiming to facilitate the widespread adoption of the INSPORT+ approach by integrating the concept into the wider public policy domain (with guidelines for future practitioners so as to allow other interested cities & regions in the EU to benefit from the project’s outcomes)

The event closed with a powerful account by partners of their experiences, testimonials, and personal impressions and thoughts of the project, including – last but not least – our INSPORT+ Recommendations:

  1. Awareness-raising and cultivation for all – providers of general health services, mental health, social services, physical and sports activities, local agents, public administration and private associations
  2. Providing access to and exercising sport exercise as a right of citizenship under equal conditions and opportunities for people with mental disabilities and mental health disorders
  3. Communication strategy on the different offers of physical activity and sports that exist locally
  4. Trainingon sports and mental health should be extended to mental health professionals and Primary Care, professionals in the field of sports, volunteering and social agents, including research initiatives with the participation of Universities
  5. Promoting sports practice for people with mental health problems on a regular, frequent and simple way, including using natural resources in a rational, sustainable way
  6. Sports programmes for people with mental disabilities and mental disorders should start from the individual needs of the people and their preferences
  7. Sports, health or social services professionals must incorporate measures to increase motivation, identify personal barriers and set individual goals
  8. Sport must be carried out in normalized environments, in community networks that favour personal recovery and empowerment and guaranteeing a multidisciplinary approach, valuing the contributions of different professionals and services
  9. It is necessary to develop sporting events where athletes with mental health problems and disabilities participate actively in their organization and development- events that must necessarily have aninclusive character and must involve public administrations and local entities. These practices can be competitive, or leisure or recreation aimed at getting related to the improvement of health, the acquisition of sports habits, as well as the active occupation of free time.
  10. It is necessary to study organizational formulas so that the sports practice of people with mental disabilities and mental disorders, in equal opportunities with other disabilities, find a federative enclave for competitive sport