UAF introduces inclusive football sections in the regions of Ukraine

Unfortunately, the availability of sports for many children with disabilities and special educational needs is problematic in Ukraine. There is a noticeable lack of qualified specialists and inclusive equipment in the regions. Such children are constantly faced with stigmatization and discrimination, and it is very painful for us that it is also in sports.

With the "Inclusive Football Sections" project, the UAF aims to change the attitude of society and help children to develop their potential through the opportunity to play sports.

Through inclusive football classes and football festivals, we provide opportunities for thousands of children with disabilities and special educational needs to develop their potential and improve their psycho-emotional and physical condition.

Photo of UAF press service

The project uses the possibilities of mass football as a powerful tool for introducing inclusive education in Ukraine in an innovative game form of classes, football festivals, integrates children with disabilities and with special educational needs into teams, trains volunteers for the further implementation of opportunities to conduct regular classes with these children and creates a volunteer network through cross-sectoral teams in partnership with relevant ministries, local authorities, public organizations, and also organizes inclusive sections of football and supports their further sustainable development in communities.

Photo of UAF press service

The main goals of the project:

— to improve the psycho-emotional and physical condition of children with disabilities and with special educational needs through their involvement in the project's physical activities and socialization;

— to change the attitude of Ukrainian society towards people with disabilities and children with special educational needs;

— provide access to inclusive sports activities;

— to reveal children's potential;

— unite children and adults, regardless of the peculiarities of physical and mental development;

— to provide motivation in mass football for all children, regardless of abilities, gender, social problems;

— to activate local communities through intersectoral networks (teachers, coaches, psychologists, parents, youth leaders, local authorities, patrons, etc.).

Photo of UAF press service

The main expected results of the project in 2024 are:

— creation of at least 17 stable cross-sectoral networks to implement the project's goals;

— organization of regular inclusive football sections involving children with disabilities and special educational needs in at least 17 regions (17 sections on a regular basis with the involvement of local resources and budgets for sustainable development);

— involvement of about 300 children in the sections, improvement of their physical and mental condition thanks to classes;

— ensuring the participation of children — participants of sections in football festivals for all children of the community.

Thanks to the UAF, the sections are equipped with children's football uniforms, balls and the necessary sports equipment.

We would like to remind you that for the high-quality implementation of the project last year, the coaches were trained at the UAF seminar in Ivano-Frankivsk, and before this year's start, they took part in a joint webinar of the UAF and regional football associations.

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