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Inclusive Karate: a new perspective to decrease sedentary lifestyle and increase self-confidence in Down Syndrome

University of Rome “Foro Italico” (FORO ITALICO), Italy

The State University of Rome “Foro Italico” is the only Italian and one of the few European vocational universities entirely devoted to sport and exercise science. It was created in 1998 from the upgrading of the previous Higher State Institute of Physical Education and as the direct heir of the National Academy of Physical Education established in the late 1920s in the especially developed and world famous monumental sport complex of “Foro Italico”. There are 3 levels of sport education (i.e., bachelor, master’s, and PhD) offered in several sport areas: exercise and sport, adapted physical activity, sport coaching, and sport management. The university is a small institution but widely open to international cooperation, and enjoys a relevant international status, thanks to its history, facilities, the quality of its teaching and continuing-education activities, the strong emphasis on research and scientific achievement, the consistent strategy of internationalization. This has led, over the years, to strongly promote research and teaching mobility, develop European programs, and establish official agreements with about one-hundred universities in Europe, North and South America, Northern Africa and other regions. The University has a significant presence in international organizations such as the FIMS, the International Federation of Sport Medicine, European College of Sport Sciences, American College of Sports Medicine, European Network of Sport Sciences and Employment. In 2000 a European Master in Health and Physical Activity was established with a number of partners particularly involved in sport science and public health issues in several EU countries. The European Master has also been effectively used as an instrument in a number of Tempus JEP developed and coordinated by the Foro Italico University with its partners to promote the health prevention through physical activity and the upgrading of sport science teaching and research in the Balkans and Northern Africa. The university has been and is still an active coordinator or partner in a variety of international programmes and networks such as: International Master Program, International Doctorates, Leonardo placements and Transfer of Innovation, Erasmus IP’s, MEDA, Comenius, Euromed, Thematic Network on Physical Activity. The University cooperates with the Italian National Olympic Committee for the development of sport curricula and is the national leader in dual career for elite athletes.

More info: http://www.uniroma4.it/

Italian Federation of Judo Wrestling Karate and Martial Arts (FIJLKAM), Italy

The Federation is formed by the affiliated Clubs, Associations and Bodies that perform non-profit sports and promotional activities of Judo, Wrestling, Karate, Ju Jitsu, Aikido and Sumo; other kind of wrestling are recognized as well, such as S’Istrumpa, Capoeira and Pancrazio, in addition to Grappling.

The FIJLKAM is the only Federation recognized and authorized by the Italian Olympic Committee to regulate and manage in Italy the sports and promotional activities (in the mentioned disciplines) and to represent it abroad.

The FIJLKAM counts more than 110.000 members, including coaches, managers, referees, 90.000 athletes and more than 3.000 clubs affiliated to it.

The FIJLKAM is also strongly operative in organising National Training courses, monothematic seminars and exams for technical graduations.

Furthermore, the FIJLKAM organises every year in its Sports Hall more than 20 national finals of its disciplines, federal and extra federal activities, and The Rome European Judo Open, one of the main important stages of the European Judo Union Calendar.

In its internal organisation, the Fijlkam counts 40 employees and it is divided in 4 areas: Operation Area, Administrative Area, Sports Area, Olympic Training Center Area.

More info: https://www.fijlkam.it/

Istituto per lo Sviluppo Socio Economico (ISES), Italy

ISES was founded in 2008 as non-profit organization to spread European culture in Italy and to get closer public agencies, businesses and the third sector to the EU institutions through the development of funded projects following their whole bureaucratic, administrative and managerial path in accordance with the rules laid down by the European Commission. Since its creation, ISES has worked in projects dealing with health and sports promotion. In particular, ISES cooperates since 2009 with different associations for sports promotion to implement projects at regional and national level.

ISES collaborates with the Università degli Studi di Roma Foro Italico in the project “A EU collaborative partnership for active lifestyles for the prevention and treatment of breast cancer- DANCING WITH HEALTH” co-financed by the ERASMUS+ SPORT programme of the European Union (GA 2017 – 2777). The basic view of DANCING WITH HEALTH is that sport for cancer patients has a double role. The first is connected with physical education, movement and health information, concepts contained in the primary directions of the EU. The other role is connected with learning and education. Through training, patients can be supported by skilled experts who can properly accompany them in their difficult path of treatments and recovery.

Since 2014, ISES personnel cooperates with CONI in the ERASMUS+ SPORT COLLABORATIVE PARTNERSHIP PROJECT “TAKE HEART – Physical activity in patients with CHD: a collaborative partnership to identify and share good practices among European countries” (ERA-COPART – G.A. 2014-3140/002-001) to engage cardiac patients and motivate them to perform Cardiac Rehabilitation and to maintain an high adherence to physical activity programs and therefore to increased levels of participation in sport and physical activity and in the new project “A collaborative partnership to develop, implement and evaluate a model of long-term physical activity and behavioral change in CHD European patients/ SWEATY HEARTS (GA – 2017-2778) to design programs where cardiac patients, organized in groups, follow active sessions of physical activity and educational sessions about healthy lifestyles.; to organise training of personnel involved in the integrated approach sessions (physicians, psychologists, nurses, physiotherapists, trainers, etc.) and make them able to prescribe physical activity, with communication skills and expertise in behaviour changes; to organise dedicated events to disseminate the project.

Finally, in 2016, ISES collaborated with the Italian Rowing Federation in the ERASMUS+ SPORT NON PROFIT SPORT EVENT “PARAROWING” (572869-EPP-1-2016-1-IT-SPO-SNCESE) to organize a sport event – in collaboration with UK and French Rowing Federation – for disabled young people and encourage them to get out from their houses and do some sport.

Besides, at present, ISES is partner in two ERASMUS+ SPORT projects: “FAIRHAP – Fair Play and Happiness through Sports (579709-EPP-1-2016-2-EL-SPO-SCP)” to spread Olympic and fair play values among children aged 10-12 and “Youth Sport Development Ambassadors – YSDA” (GA: 2016 – 2771/001-001) that focuses on peer led voluntary action in sport to promote social inclusion in sport for young people aged between 16 and 24. The focus will be on developing YSDAs to develop projects with groups of young people from ethnic minority and migrant populations.

Over the years, ISES has extended its actions to the areas of culture, social policies, tourism, environment, civil protection and training and it has developed a considerable network of contacts at international level, thanks also to the 18 EU funded projects in which it is partner/main applicant.

ISES has long experience in managing EU projects and managing communication and dissemination activities. It has been the responsible for the communication in all its projects developing the project communication strategy, tools and materials. In particular, ISES developed and managed different platform for e-learning and clearinghouses: www.aurora-project.eu, www.salux-project.eu, www.hcube-project.eu, www.spring-project.eu and related communication/information campaigns.

More info: www.associazioneises.org

Federatia Romania de Karate – National Para Karate Commission (FRK), Romania

The commission was born in 2014, within the Romanian Karate Federation. Initially this was called the National Karate and Karate Commission for Disabled Persons and at present it is called the National Para Karate Commission.

The para-karate commission has gradually developed through national championships, training sessions and special programs, so it currently has about 100 athletes with disabilities.

This commission has created competitive rules and operational procedures following the WKF model.

In our country the activity of the para karate is divided into 8 regions, each with the purpose of identifying people who can benefit from our program and implement it. Athletes trained in this para-karate program have been able to get results at European and international competitions. Athletes belonging to this organization participated in: World Championship in Linz, Germany; European Championship in Novi Sad, Serbia; World Championship in Madrid, Espana.

Currently, the National Commission for Para Karate has, in particular, athletes with Down sindrom, Mental Disability and blindes.

We want to develop the work of the commission by building a sports complex specifically for people with disabilities benefiting from the location in the west of the country, close to the borders with Hungary and Serbia.

More info: www.frkarate.ro

Karate Bregenz, Austria

Karate Bregenz was founded in April 2014. The club has over 200 members of all ages (children with hearing problems, elderly, families and refugees but also competitors). Its key activities range from competitive sport to health and fitness by means of karate.

The club aims is to motivate as many individuals as possible to adhere to some form of exercise in order to become or remain healthy, and to have fun in sports. The club’s philosophy also wants to include as many people as possible into the club and as a consequence into social life. A further intention is to include karate and its health benefits into people’s lives.

Moreover the club has its own competitive squad. It also works in close cooperation with primary schools in order to promote karate among young children and their parents. Karate Bregenz has a very good network with various local media, authorities, clubs and institutions, especially those who care for people with special needs, refugees etc…, either in Austrian and in the neighbourhood Nations speaking German language.

The club is also very famous for its commitment against violence and sexual abuse in sports. Its coaches are very wanted experts for seminars, lectures and self defense courses in Austria.

More info: www.karate-bregenz.at

I Karate Hungary SE, Hungary

Since 2014, this association was responsible of planning and launching karate courses for disabled people at the “Benedek Elek” differential Pedagogy Institute in Budapest.

After a development and an increased demand for the sports activity was founded on 16/08/2017 The Sports association I Karate Hungary SE.

Purpose of this sports association is:

  • To promote the didactic approach of IKFI among students and adults with disabilities, in order to promote their social and sports integration.
  • Organize sports events: trainings, competitions, internships.
  • Maintain national and international relations with other sports association with similar functions and objectives.
  • Organize courses and teach the system to other karate coaches, to promote the dissemination of this discipline and to promote participation in sports activities in disabled athletes.

More info: www.karate.hu/

Inclusive Karate Federation IKF IKANDO vzw (IKFI), Belgium

IKF short for ‘Inclusive Karate Federation’, is a non-profit organisation founded by Eric Bortels, 6th dan Shotokan.

Aims of the organisation:

The mission of IKF GLOBAL is to stimulate the integration of physically and mentally disabled children, youngsters and adults via sport, i.e. I-karate or inclusive karate, as part of their personal development by raising self-awareness, physical strengths and social contacts.

More in detail:

  • To promote karate for people with a disability, expand and develop the principle of I-karate (i.e. inclusive karate) across Europe and worldwide
  • To organize trainings, fellowships, competitions, sport days, holiday camps, tests, incl. formation of I-trainers
  • To unite karate clubs, remaining their own traditions, but willing to integrate I-karate
  • To organize activities, events, excursions, exchanges of sportive, cultural, social and other aspects, to help realize above goals and further integrate our I-karatekas.

To promote mutual respect and integration, enhanced by the principle of buddies, i.e. young valid karatekas assisting I-karakekas during trainings competitions, etc. with the idea to create friendship during the karate-sessions but also in daily life.

The motto of IKF is ‘I CAN DO IT!’

More info: www.i-k-f.net/

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