SIMCAS International conference

Palazzo Valentini, Rome – Thursday, December 1st 2022

On 1st December 2022, the final event of the SIMCAS project took place in Rome.

The international conference, organised by the US Acli, was held in Palazzo Valentini, a historic building that is the headquarters of the Metropolitan City of Rome, the territorial body of the Province of Rome, which patronised the event. 

The event was attended by representatives of the project partners involved in the initiative, those who contributed to its realisation or took part in the activities, and by national and territorial association leaders, Italian and European institutional and sports and social representatives.

 In addition to the representatives of the organisations involved in the SIMCAS project, speakers included: Barbari Funari,  Councillor for Social Policies and Health Roma Capitale, Roberto Tavani,  Delegate for Sport Regione Lazio, Saska Benedicic Tomat, ISCA Head of project, Stefano Gobbi,  Sport e salute Spa Head of Social Projects and Third Sector -Sport in the Territories Department, Siliva Squarciotta, Office of Development and Credit Orientation Banca Etica, Antonio Russo, Acli National Vice President

The speeches focused on what has emerged in the two years of work discussed, regarding:

  • the primary role assumed in the European context by sport as an instrument of social intervention within a renewed vision of the welfare state and the state-citizen relationship
  • the need for every integration intervention through sport to be part of an overall action that sees the strategic synergy of institutions and social and sports actors.

Start of the experimentation phase

Activities have been implemented, by each project partner, to test and evaluate the methodological approach SIMCAS identified through: 

  • a bibliographic research on the integration processes through sport and on the characteristics and difficulties of integration of foreigners in the chosen contexts;
  • interviews to stakeholders; 
  • an analysis of European existing good practices promoted by the project partners;
  • a survey on the experience and training needs of coach.

The activities will be developed by the project partners over the next 6 months in different environments (prisons, suburbs, refugee camps, involving first and second generation immigrants), with people from different cultures (African, Asian, Eastern European), arriving in different host cities (large cities and small/medium cities, in northern, central and Southern Europe), offering different sports (soccer, martial arts, basketball, rugby, theater) with different approaches (single sport, team sport, social support, etc.). 

The objective of the activities will be to promote empowerment and social inclusion of refugees through sport, managing different tools and approaches to create a sense of community, against discrimination and reduce barriers.

The implementation process, conducted on such different environments, will produce feedbacks that will be shared among the project partners and will allow the research team to introduce improvements in the methodological approach and its tools, increasing the exchange of experiences between partners, the skills of the project operators, so that they can be successfully applied in other contexts.

3rd Transnational Meeting

Online event – Thursday 22nd November 2021

The third transnational meeting of SIMCAS took place on November 22, which due to the COVID 19 emergency was held remotely. 

This meeting was aimed at launching the experimentation phase of the project and for this reason was attended not only by the coordinators of the partners but also the team involved in the experimentation activities.

The meeting opened with the presentation of the results from the last phase of the SIMCAS research, i.e. the survey based on the experiences and training needs of coaches, which highlighted the strengths and weaknesses of sports programs for immigrants in the local and regional realities of the participating Countries.

It was then introduced the SIMCAS methodological approach for the development of sports programs aimed at the inclusion of immigrants in critical areas, developed from the research carried out in previous months: an approach characterized by key elements aimed to create network, common goals and strategies in an inclusive and accessible environment with a staff as flexible and multidisciplinary as possible.

This approach will now be tested and implemented in the field for six months by the project partners, through guidelines and tools useful to:

  • testing how the guidelines fit into each context;
  • evaluate the model during implementation.

Local Seminar “Social Inclusion and Sport: a methodology based in research”

Online event – Thursday 15th October 2020, 18.00 to 20.00 h

The Sports Council of Pla de l’Estany (CEPE) is performing an online seminar with representatives of local administrations, the municipality of Banyoles, sports clubs and PE teachers, in order to present the intellectual outputs of the SIMCAS project.

Angel Izquierdo and Xavi Batchellí, project manager and director of CEPE, will present the seminar that will be divided into to parts. Firstly, the project SIMCAS will be introduced to the stakeholders invited to the seminar, taking in consideration its parts and the actions that have been carried out so far. In this regard, the two completed intellectual outputs will be presented and discussed.

Secondly, a round table will be conducted to discuss the results of the two intellectual outputs previously introduced with the purpose of compiling their feedback and knowledge in the topic, thus strengthening new and existing networks as well as depicting the future of social inclusion and sport in the local context.

The stakeholders involved are:

The municipality of Banyoles, Welfare Department of the Regional Council of Pla de l’Estany, Club Natació Banyoles, Football Club Banyoles, Athletic Club Banyoles, PE teacher in a local primary school, Social worker in a local high school, and a social integrator from a complex neighborhood in Banyoles.  

The seminar will be on Instagram live at @ceplaestany

Making integration through sport

Online event – Friday 16th October 2020, 10-12 a.m. 

The conference gathers SIMCAS (Social Inclusion Methodology in Critical Areas via Sport) project partners and professionals and researchers in the field of sport-based social intervention, to discuss the role of sport in the integration of migrants and SIMCAS’s first research outputs. 

The international conference “Making integration through sport”, chaired by Simone Digennaro (University of Cassino), is organised in two main sessions: during the first one, IREF staff will briefly present the results of two researches, a literature review on sport capacity to overcome migrant’s social exclusion in critical areas and a qualitative analysis of interviews with experts; the second one will be a round table about the most pressing issues of sport-based social interventions in the current context. 

Speakers include Thomas Farines, Former Educator and Consultant of Terre des Hommes Hellas and David Ekholm, Senior Lecturer, Department of Culture and Society, University of Norrköping, Sweden.

The event is organised by US Acli, University of Cassino and Iref with the participation of all project partners (Girl Power Organization, Champions Without Borders, Organisation Earth, Sports Union of Slovenia, The Sports Council of Pla de l’Estany) and is part of #ErasmusDays

Link to the live streaming event

Giornata nazionale lo sport che vogliamo

It is a day of sport promoted annually by the US Acli that takes place simultaneously throughout Italy to promote a sport inclusive, accessible to all and an instrument of well-being. It is therefore directed to citizens of all ages with a focus on the most vulnerable categories, including immigrants.

For the 3rd National Day  “US Acli LO SPORT CHE VOGLIAMO: una risorsa per la comunità”, scheduled for the 17th and 18th of October, 80 sports events will be organised in respect of security and social distancing measures due to the Covid 19 emergency. The multidisciplinary and inclusive sports events will be held in places that are symbolic of citizenship lived or denied to be supported or relaunched through sport: disadvantaged suburbs, cultural sites, public squares and parks, sports fields and facilities, prisons.

This event will be an appointment for #Erasmusday, which will take place from the 15th to the 17th of October.

Events scheduled throughout Europe to celebrate and recount the Erasmus Programme

 I the numbers of the initiative

  • 16 regions involved
  • 41 provinces affected by the event
  • 55 municipalities involved
  • 80 scheduled events
  • 55 sports disciplines and activities promoted

For further information: Lo Sport che Vogliamo 3 Edizione

Sport beyond borders: lo sport per l’inclusione sociale dei detenuti

Workshop directed to US Acli executives and sports operators working in prisons. A meeting to deepen the characteristics of the prison context and the successful elements of a sports program of social inclusion for prisoners. The reflection will start from the presentation of “DOING SUCH A HARD JOB DOING SUCH A HARD JOB – The Making of Migrant and Refugees Integration through Sport in Six European Countries”, a report on interviews with scholars and professionals carried out within SIMCAS – Social Inclusion Methodology in Critical Areas.

The comparison aims to highlight the strategic role of the sports educator in prison and to collect the educational needs of sports operators active in this field.

This event will be one of the events of #Erasmusday, which will take place from the 15th to the 17th of October. Events scheduled throughout Europe to celebrate and recount the Erasmus Programme 

II Transnational Project Meeting

October 2nd, 2020

The second transnational meeting of the SIMCAS project will take place on October 2nd. Due to the COVID 19 emergency, the partners’ coordinators will meet via Skype to discuss the progress of the project and plan future commitments.

In particular, the stakeholders’ interviews report will be presented and discussed. It is the second product of the ongoing research, aimed at defining a methodology to support sports operators in designing interventions for the immigrants’ integration in critical areas.

After the bibliographic analysis, Iref, and project partners interviewed academic experts, sports operators, third sector representatives and institutions keen on integration through sport for immigrants in critical areas. The results of the interviews have been summarized in a report that will be shared among the partners and then disseminated through international and national events promoted within Erasmusdays.

Bibliographic analysis report

May 6th 2020

The first part of the research aimed at defining the methodological approach for the development of immigrants’ integration through sport has been presented and discussed during the project coordination meeting on May 6th. 

After the bibliographic analysis, the research work will include:

  • stakeholders’ interviews;
  • he observation of existing good practices at European level promoted by the project partners;
  • the study of sustainability measures that can be applied to these interventions.

The bibliographic research, carried out by Iref with the contribution of Unicas, has allowed analysing the role of sport in the social inclusion of ethnic minorities. A work that has highlighted the potential of sport in the migrants’ integration process, identifying the successful and critical elements and stressing the unexplored ones. The former will be deepened and resumed through experts’ interviews and s good practices studies.


Berlin 21-22 february 2020

The kick off meeting of the project SIMCAS Social Inclusion Methodology in Critical Areas via Sport took place in Berlin on 21 and 22 February.  The meeting opened with the presentation of the partners and their activities. The first day of work was dedicated to sharing.

The main elements of the project (motivations, objectives, results, target groups, project design, main outputs), underlining the innovative and peculiar aspect namely to define and implement a methodology to integrate through sports activities immigrants living in critical contexts. 

In particular Tommaso Vitale (Professor of Sciences Po – Paris and SIMCAS ’research coordinator) intervenes via skype on “Relevance of the project in the EU context” focusing on the elements that characterize the project (inclusion, sport, critical areas, communities, etc.) and stimulating a reflection on their meaning also in relation to the objectives of the project. 

Saturday’s day opened with the presentation of a video with the testimony of those who participate to the social inclusion activities through football, promoted by CHOG, organisation hosting the meeting. The work continued with the definition of the operational plans and the first project coordination and management tools and the planning of the first project commitments.