Organisers: Pare Manel Foundation and the Babar Sports Association.
Collaborating organisation: Ramon Molinas Foundation.
Dates of implementation: 01/09/2019 – 19/06/2020.
The Babar Sports Association, using futsal to promote social integration
The Babar Sports Association is a sports organisation linked to the Pare Manel Foundation, and is a vital part of the social life of the Barcelona area of Nou Barris. The project encourages the social integration of children and teenagers through playing futsal (indoor football).
The social and educational task of the association is focused on transforming the environment in which children and teenagers can grow and develop in the areas of Guineueta, Canyelles, Roquetes, Verdum, Prosperitat and Trinitat Nova. The project achieves its goal through playing futsal and training sports teams, in which the children and young people are able to foment interpersonal relationships as well as relationships with the coaches and representatives who become educational mentors for the participants.
The Babar Sports Association has 17 teams. Of these, 11 are school teams –2 of which are basketball teams– and the rest are federal teams. The groups are made up of a total of 200 children and young people between 6 and 18 years old. Through sport, the participants work on values such as responsibility, respect, friendship and creativity. 50 members of staff are involved in the project, including coaches, representatives, coordinators and collaborators, who all work together at the Institut La Guineueta court, the Institut Escola Antaviana court and the court at Institut Escola Turó de Roquetes.
Futsal as a tool for personal development
The members of Babar Sports Association are children and young people from the area of Nou Barris who have any kind of disability or special needs. However, instead of focusing its attention on the only most vulnerable children and young people, the club aims to be an inclusive sports centre. It takes in all profiles of children and young people in the area.
The organisation takes care to consider the diversity of the problems of the participants and works hard to make sure that they are all able to achieve personal development through playing futsal, which brings a range of physical and psychological benefits. The association also organises social events that encourage interpersonal relationships.
In addition, practising sport linked to a local sports club with a tight-knit environment brings all sorts of positive benefits for the children and young people, who often come from socially deprived areas. Firstly, it helps them to develop a more selfless attitude, as a result of understanding that their self-determination depends on others. Secondly, playing futsal encourages the team to work together, as part of a group which requires high levels of mutual understanding. Finally, they become conscious of the quality of their actions. They get used to thinking responsibly and maturely about what to do, why, and the consequences of attempting to do things well.
The Babar Sports Association, a club born to bring people together
The educational work of Babar Sports Association is just one part of the support network available in the district. For this reason, its work is focuses around community revitalisation on two levels: coordination with other organisations in the area, and encouraging the empowerment of young people in the transformation of their local area. It is also worth highlighting that the Babar Sports Association promotes equality for everyone, regardless of their sex; all teams in the lower leagues are mixed.
The organisation helps its members to make progress in personal autonomy and encourages them to take responsibility for their own decisions. It takes pride in its close community and strong links with the neighbourhood, and works hard to create the environment which will allow the community network to thrive: by bringing people together. With this approach, players at the club can see how they are able to make a difference. They feel useful, they help, cooperate and combine their efforts for the good of the team and for their own progress. Similarly, this support network extends to the families of the players, who participate in the social life of the club. Babar Sports Association has become an enriching activity space and has achieved a firm sense of belonging in the community.
This sense of belonging has grown over the 30 years that the organisation has been promoting its beliefs and values, and contributed to the fact that the coaching staff who look after the 17 teams, taking on the role of trainers and educators, are ex-players themselves. Not only are they highly talented, they are fundamental to the functioning of the club. They act as agents of social change, who bring to their position the added values of working free of charge, with affection, dedication, neutrality, encouragement, all in line with the ethical values of the club. They help the participants, members and collaborating organisations to grow, and ultimately, they help the mission of Babar Sports Association to grow.
The Pare Manel Foundation, an organisation committed to social vulnerability
Created in the year 2004, the Pare Manel Foundation is a non-profit organisation rooted in the Nou Barris district in Barcelona which develops and spearheads social action and educational projects. The organisation works particularly with people who are from vulnerable socio-economic backgrounds.
The Babar Sports Association, established in 1985, works within the socio-educational sports programmes run by the Pare Manel Foundation. Apart from the purely sport orientated activities of the organisation’s teams, the programme also includes a series of activities such as: sessions every term on the use of technology, training and technical talks for the coaches, as well as sports camps, and routes or trips into the countryside.
Outside of this area of work, the Pare Manel Foundation offers a comprehensive educational action programme to children and teenagers, a school support programme, a social leisure programme, a labour integration programme and an assistance programme for those in prison.
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