For years Uisp has been committed to promoting the right to sport for prisoners, promoting physical activity within prisons for adults and minors, with the aim of contributing to their motor re-education and also to imagine paths of social inclusion, served the sentence.
This path includes the European project "SPPF - Sport in Prison, a Plan for the Future", which started in January 2020 and has a three-year duration, involving Italy, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia and the Netherlands. SPPF intends to provide all stakeholders with the necessary tools to develop good practices, using sport in prison as a bridge to other sectors of society.
From 5 to 7 October in Porec, Croatia, the second face-to-face meeting was held after a year and a half of videoconference meetings: "It was very important to be present after many remote meetings - says the Uisp coordinator of the project Camilla De Concini - it was an opportunity for an update on the situation in the various countries and to proceed with training, in particular on the methods of assessment and monitoring and on the measurement of soft skills, skills that are specific but difficult to measure, such as self-esteem, perception of 'effectiveness, ability to reach a goal".
After starting in January 2020, the project suffered delays and program changes related to the pandemic: in fact, working with prisoners and sport, the activities were completely interrupted, until recently. “The pandemic has forced a review of times and actions - explains De Concini - Some activities have reduced the time, such as those in prison, which will last less than expected, but have finally started. In Florence, in the Sollicciano prison, adapted physical activity started in June, organized in collaboration with the Local Health Authority and the Municipality; thay boxing activities with minors began in Bologna in September, in the gymnasium of the Uisp Semper Avanti association. Furthermore, also in Florence two teams of prisoners participated in the Antiracist World Cup in volleyball and football tournaments. Unfortunately, many other activities planned will not be possible ".
One of the objectives of the project is to change the point of view of public opinion to give more opportunities to people leaving prison and to create a link between the prison and the city, also involving the prison police. To this end, the project envisages experimental activities that become learning moments for associations: for this reason practical activities are fundamental and their construction is a shared learning process. "We worked on this part, integrating the pandemic into the training process, trying to overcome external obstacles and find ways to innovate and circumvent problems - continues Camilla De Concini - It will be important to make the logic behind the interventions transmissible and shareable: in fact, as part of the project, a methodological guide on interventions in prison will be created, and we will have to effectively transmit information and practical indications, because this will allow us to multiply the work by transmitting it to other operators and associations ”.
The project leader is the Belgian organization De Rode Antraciet, the partners - in addition to Uisp - are the Belgian university VUB – Vrije Universiteit Brussel which will handle the research part; the Bulgarian association UPSDA – Sdrujenie Obedineni progesionalisti za ustoichivo razvitie which, like Uisp, has a long experience in the field of sport and social inclusion; the Dutch association DJI – Dienst JustitiëInrichtingen and the Croatian association ACSW – Udruga za kreativni socijalni rad. (E.F.)