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Girl smiling at one of the Day Centres of Aldeas infantiles SOS

INTEGRATION AND SPORT

The protagonists

Anna Nieto Cervantes

Social educator

"Now he goes to the Open Centre with a smile drawn on his face and he hugs instructors and colleagues"

C. is a boy of 8 years old, happy and playful. When he joined the program Integration and Sport he was very shy, with colleagues and monitors. He founded difficult to reach out to colleagues and had a conversation with them. He avoided any physical contact; for him, to give a kiss was like a game.

We have seen many improvements in this child. Now he goes to the Open Centre with a smile drawn on his face and he hugs instructors and colleagues. Slowly, he expressed his feelings with gestures and words.

One day her mother told us "I am very proud that my son is here with you. C. enters into a place and greets people, is more talkative at home and at school is more concentrated".

See these changes and how the families perceive them mean that this program is important to the development of the children and their family.

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Anna Nieto and children in the Open Centre

Albert Pujol Martinez

Educator in the Integration and Sport Project

"If I’d been given a blank canvas on which to design a project, it wouldn’t have been very different from Integration and Sport"

What personal and professional experience has brought to where you are   today?
I inevitably think of my childhood, because since that time I’ve always had a lot of fun and had a great passion for different sports, both individual and team sports. I was part of several teams, basically for fun, but I also trained and competed. This experience is essential in being able to put myself in the shoes of the children and young people I work with today, to be able to understand them and act accordingly.

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Albert Pujol Martinez

Juan Manuel Sánchez Ramos and Ángel Cardenete Hernández

Dir. of the Day Centre and Dir. of the Social Programme Centre in Granada respectively

"The essence of any sport is that its practice offers endless possibilities for personal enrichment"

What are the objectives of the program?
The main objectives of this programme are always focussed on providing –using sport as a medium– a series of cross-cutting learning activities that help the children to acquire tools, values and skills that contribute to enhancing their role within their social environments, thereby reducing their risk factors and enriching their personal, social, and family spheres.

Who is it aimed at?
As is customary in these types of programmes, it is aimed at socially weaker children, whose opportunities are limited by a host of problems that are gradually moving them towards social exclusion and, in some cases, towards being marginalised, surrounded by a broad set of risk factors or indicators that prevent proper social integration.

In what way does practicing sport, and tennis in particular, help to achieve the aims of the project?
The essence of any sport is that its practice offers endless possibilities for personal enrichment, and even more so for children in the critical period of their personal growth. It not only enhances their motor skills and physical development, but also transmits values, improves emotional control and discipline and encourages teamwork, camaraderie, good hygiene practices, etc. There’s no doubt that tennis, as well as other sports, provides a wide range of options; and especially in this case, as it is supported by a top-class figure like Rafa Nadal, a reference in many respects and a role model given his well-known qualities as an elite athlete and also for the values he transmits, so his image is ideal for children and young people.

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Juan Manuel Sánchez Ramos
Ángel Cardenete Hernández

Laura Fuertes

Barcelona Open Centre Manager

"Rafa Nadal serves us as a powerful reference for fair play and for the importance of effort, discretion, generosity..."

What are the objectives of the programme?
This has been the first year we have implemented the Integration & Sport Project and our efforts have been focused on bringing together something so inborn in children as their motivation to play games and physical activity with educational and social purposes.

The boys and girls who take part in the programme enjoy their free time doing different sports and they learn to solve personal, family and social difficulties with a positive, constructive and participatory attitude through the tools that the daily routine provides them with.

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Laura Fuertes
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