In collaboration with Milan Junior Camp, which aims to integrate disabled youngsters in the summer camps. A unique opportunity for playing together. And growing together.
The aim of the initiative is to facilitate social inclusion through sport by integrating children with and without special needs and problems during Milan Junior Camp – the summer holidays promoted by AC Milan. Diversity becomes a value and an opportunity for growth for all the children involved, their families and the coaching/organisation staff.
Now in its fourth year, the initiative is the result of the collaboration between Fondazione Milan and Milan Junior. We work with the managers of the camps and the associations concerned with disabilities and that act as a go-between for the children and their families. The project makes soccer in general, and the camp experience in particular, an integration tool for handling various types of problems: physical disabilities, psychological disabilities and socialising problems.
Four specific initiatives have been established for summer 2016:
– Milan City Camp in Milan, held at the Cimiano sports centre in collaboration withAITA Onlus: for the fourth year in a row, a group of ten children with autistic disorders will spend three weeks at the camp. The children and the coaches in the project will be followed by AITA tutors, psychologists or educational psychologists in a ratio of 1:1/1:2, and supervised by national health organisation doctors specializing in child and adolescent psychiatry. The presence and collaboration of specialist tutors and qualified coaches guarantee an appropriate and professional response to the children’s specific needs, facilitate integration and optimise the impact on families that will notice an increase in wellbeing with the awareness that they have found a competent, suitable space where their children can enjoy hours of play and serenity.
– Milan Junior Camp Lignano Sabbiadoro, held in collaboration with BRIANTEA84:eleven children with intellectual disabilities will stay at the camp from 31 July to 6 August. Briantea84 A.S.D. promotes sport for people with disabilities and young people in particular.
– Milan Junior Camp Brallo di Pergola (PV), held in collaboration with Special Olympics and aimed at children with intellectual and relational disabilities. The camp will be held from 31 July to 6 August.
– Special Soccer Camp Napoli, held in collaboration with SSD Europa of Naples and AITA Onlus for fifteen children with autistic disorders. The camp will be open throughout July.
In Italy, 85,000 primary school children (3.0% of the total) and about 65,000 lower secondary school pupils (3.8% of the total) have disabilities, but the number of these children who practice some sort of sport is drastically low.
There is a lack of appropriate facilities and frequently coaches have no training in how to handle different problems.
Even more serious is the lack of information about the services available in the territory and insufficient awareness of the rehabilitative and educational aspects of sport with regard to curing diseases. Moreover, many people believe that sport can be a danger to health.
These factors, combined with a family’s limited financial resources, often keep children with special needs away from sport and, amongst other things, deny them an experience for growth and socializing, thereby increasing the risk of isolation.