Innovation Fund: Using the power of sport to end violence, discrimination and disadvantage

Duration: 01/08/2020 – 31/07/2021 (12 months)

Total Income: 12.947 €

Partners: GAME, ARSIS- Association for the Social Support of Youth, Yoga & Sport for Refugees

Funded by: “Laureus Sport for Good” and “SOL Foundation”

The project has two steps:

1. Playmaker training and youth led sports activities

2. A participatory design process which explores how the refugee playmaker’s competences could be transferred into concrete strategies that can be used in their onward journey. This also includes testing a virtual community and support network for refugee playmakers on the move.

Step 1: Playmaker Camp

Together, an international group of sports coaches offer a training-of-the trainers camp, full of sports, fun, and a sense of empowerment and community. We will intertwine sports and life skills. The focus is on the fun educational activities and the skills that will be useful as they move along from this Community.

The target group is young refugees living in Athens (aged 16 – 25, but very flexible) who have an interest in sport and doing activities for kids in the camp.

After the training, these new “Playmakers” will be able to offer ongoing, positive and educational sports activities for younger children in Athens.

Step 2: Participatory Design Process

Three design principles will guide the process in this project:

Principle 1: Listen – understand the needs and dreams of the local youth.

Principle 2: Play – to create new solutions we aim to give youth the tools to ideate and play with the ideas they create.

Principle 3: Try – ideas out, make mistakes and try again. New ideas must be tested quickly on a small scale to find out how they will work in reality.

To make the workshop fun and to try to overcome some of the language barriers the workshop will combine traditional workshop methods with physical activities – doing for example “basketball brainstorm” and “skate create”. Creative methods like drawing and using LEGO bricks will be key components in the ideation process.

The playmakers will be working in groups of three and as the final product of the workshop each group will need to converge theirs overall idea/strategy into a model combining the concept of a service blueprint with a mood board where focus will be on preconditions, support structure etc., necessary for making the strategies a reality. GAME will use this as input for the virtual community test process.

Testing a virtual community and support network for refugee playmakers on the move. (Design principle 3):

We would like to use this project to be connected to the huge network of young people all using sports to create social change, and to adapt our organization to meet the needs of refugee playmakers as they use their competences to create youth led activities wherever the settle (temporarily or permanently).

These should benefit not only the refugee community environment, but our organizations’ outreach in general based on our learning we will be able to create more specially-designed activities: this will help us design activities that are more useful for refugees on the move.