Respect differences, be the winner!

The European Union’s fundamental values are respect for human dignity and human rights, freedom, democracy, equality and the rule of law. These values unite all the member states. Building on the existing legal framework, the EU has introduced and initiated a broad range of measures to better prevent and combat racism, xenophobia and other forms of intolerance.

Nevertheless, there is still much work to be done to achieve the objectives set. Across all life spheres there are repetitive and important cases of violation of human rights, expressions of marginalisation and violence, exclusion, less opportunities, and discriminative behaviours. The field of sports is no exception.

The M_Coach project aims at developing a training course for trainers/coaches and their trainers, which will help them identify and tackle discriminatory behaviour in their teams of athletes, composing primarily of young adults 16-21 years old. The Project will identify the types of discriminatory behaviours in the participating countries in all their expressions and the reasons for which they are expressed, it will systematise them and methodologies for dealing with them will be proposed.

The M_Coach project intends to equip the trainers/coaches with the appropriate tools to address and tackle any form of discriminatory behaviour, irrespectively of whether it is based upon societal differences, or peer pressure stemming from underachievement, given that, ultimately, the reason behind intolerance and unacceptance is not really what matters so much; it is the inclination of certain individuals to adopt such behaviours and acting on them.

What is important is to use all measures and tools, especially with young adults to help them understand that in the context of an inclusive society, which respects and understands all individuals as equals, there are only gains to be expected, as a result of common effort and in this context, the field of sport is the most appropriate way to demonstrate that latter notion.

All partners, even though they are not the same type of organisations, have access to the target group, the final beneficiaries, as well as the project stakeholders, across all participating countries. Moreover, given the high transferability potential of the project results, the partners will have the opportunity of incorporating the M_Coach course into their regular everyday activities, or to use it as a basis and expand it for other target groups and/or contexts.

The consortium will ensure that the final results will cover the needs identified at the beginning of the implementation period, and ensuring the maximum added value for young adults 16-21 years old, who are the final beneficiaries of the project.

After having participated at the course, the coaches/trainers and their trainers will be in the position to early identify signs of discriminatory behaviour among their athletes and use methodologies (such as games, case studies, examples, tasks, etc.) that will make young adults realise that adopting such behaviours can have very detrimental effects on others. The course will also help sport professionals bring out to their athletes the true nature of sport and the overarching philosophy behind it, which fosters inclusion, tolerance and fair play.