- Target Audience
- key themes association
- (Early) preventionFormal/informal educationLocal strategies/citiesSports
- Peer Reviewed practice
The UFOLEP Ile de France Regional Committee is a sports federation associating different sports activities with citizenship. Sport is considered as a tool for education, health, social integration and diversity.
The organisation is composed of 38 000 members throughout the Ile-de-France region (Paris + three other territories).
The sports activities (leisure or competition) are organised for everyone, especially those who do not usually practice sports or who are characterised with difficulties (victims of violence, unemployed, etc.).
The UFOLEP also organises training sessions for sports educators, young people, etc.
Type of Organisation: NGO
This experimental project is implemented by five sports organisations in five European cities in Belgium, Denmark, Germany, Spain and France. It aims to prevent radicalisation amongst young people, girls and boys, between 15 and 25 years old (primary prevention).
Those young people are all characterised by difficulties (school drop-out, unemployment, delinquency, etc.) and living in sensitive urban headquarters characterised by a high level of violence and social problems. Most of them are not practicing sport in the usual sports clubs. We consider those young people are most likely to be targeted by extremists’ groups and need therefore to be taken care of by sports educators (any type of ideology).
Every week, between September 2021 and June 2022, each organisation organises non-competitive multi-sport outdoor activities combined with a wider educational approach. Every organisation is free to develop this aspect in accordance with their objectives (e.g. unformal gathering and discussions, relaxing activities, training sessions to become sports educators, etc.).
The educational approach is developed both during the sports activities and alongside them. “During” because we focus on developing sports in a non-competitive way: cooperation, respect for diversity, fighting against discrimination, positive self-esteem, not being afraid of losing (we see failure as an important key value). All educators are supposed to respect those objectives. We don’t want to exacerbate other sporting values such as: being the best, focusing on victory, being stronger.
The educational approach is developed alongside the sports activities because we also include activities such as: speaking groups, singing activities, critical thinking workshops, first aid certification, sports educator certification, collective meals, organising a final festive event, etc. This is meant to help young people to feel comfortable in their skin, amongst other people and to help them find a project in life. However, this last aspect also depends on the partners. We don’t always develop the same activities.
The young people involved in the programme are also in charge of co-organising a final ‘Start on the street’ event with their coaches at the end of the sports’ year, in June. This event is meant to be festive and/or sporty to gather people living in the neighbourhood.
START on the street contributes to preventing violent extremism (PVE) because the young people involved are all facing social, integration, economic, judicial or educational difficulties. Those fragilities could explain why some of them could be tempted by extremists’ groups trying to recruit them.
Having a project, feeling good in one’s head and body, being sociable and developing new skills strengthen their resilience. These young people were not in sports clubs before. Finally, all the educators and coordinators are trained on the subject of PVE to help them understand why they have a role to play in society to fight extremism.
To make sure we share the same values (diversity, fighting against discrimination, respect, non-violence, etc.), the sports educators and the coordinators of the project regularly exchange information about their practices and experience. Three meetings are organised in Paris and three online webinars with specialists in the prevention of radicalisation to help them develop knowledge on this subject.
This programme will be evaluated to see if outdoor sports activities can contribute (or not) to preventing radicalisation amongst young people living in urban underprivileged areas.