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Social inclusion of refugees through sport

Promoting social inclusion of refugees and asylum seekers through sport : this is the challenge of this programme. Carried by the Playlab over a period of 3 years, it began in Janary 2020 and will end in December 2022. This programme is financed by the European Commission and the Fondation SUEZ.


Our objectives

Since 2015 the European Union has been experiencing an influx of asilum seekers and refugees that it is struggling to welcome and include. Between administrative complexities, search for housing and employment, loss of orientation and trauma: people seeking international protection face many difficulties and their social inclusion is an important and urgent challenge.
PLAY International is convinced that sport is an underexploited source of solutions to meet this challenge.
For PLAY International collective action is the only way to imagine the appropriate solutions. Social inclusion projects through sport must be the result of joint action bringing together players from various fields (social, sports, institutional, etc.) working together to create and implement quality educational content.



[1] Eurostat, Statistiques sur la migration et la population migrante, March 2019.

Réfugiés Objectifs


Key figures


co-created educational kits


target groups: children, adolescents, families and young adults


European structures trained to use the kits by 2022

A collective project

Following a first project Sport and Refugee Incubator carried out in 2018 and workshops organized with actors in the field in 2019, PLAY International makes 2 observations:
1) On the one hand, social actors and reception centres that are not trained in the practice of sport are eager for turnkey pedagogical content that they could use in their structure with refugees and asylum seekers.
2) On the other hand, sports associations working in the field of sport with refugees and asylum seekers are isolated. An enrichment of curricula in terms of pedagogical engineering and the sharing of these competences through training courses would help to amplify the social impact of existing projects.

The two priority action levers identified by PLAY International within the framework of this European programme are :
1.    Create meeting spaces and times for exchanges between the players to encourage a collective dynamic.
2.    Train and equip actors fighting against exclusion and sports associations to implement on the ground socio-sport sessions adapted to each public.





Through this programme, PLAY International aims to federate a network of european actors to strenghten the action and the impact of the projects for social inclusion of refugiees through sport. To achieve this goal, the programme will be deployed in two stages :


1) 2020 -2021 : Ile de France

The first part of the programme will take place in Ile-de-France, where 57% of the asylum seekers present in France are living. Socio-sports sessions will be created and implemented in the region with Ile-de-France stakeholders, targeting four key target groups :
•    Children and adolescents seeking asylum & refugees
•    Young adults seeking asylum & refugees
•    Families with special attention paid to the mother/child bond often break down after the exile journey 
Socio-sport sessions are sports sessions that promote the acquisition of life skills. The individuals are placed into a learning situation with the aim of acquiring psychosocial skills, defined by the World Health Organization as abilities for adaptive and positive behaviour that enable individuals to deal effectively with the demands and challenges of everyday life.


2) 2021-2022 : Europe

After having tested the socio-sports sessions with actors working in Ile-de-France, PLAY International will work with european organizations in order to adapt these sessions to the national issues and existing European programmes carried out by other european countries. Some of these actors will be trained in 2022 and will disseminate the sessions on the European scale.




Program financed by the European Commission – Agreement number EAC-2019-0529 and the Fondation SUEZ.

Illustration Sport & inclusion des réfugiés - Kosovo




Want to participate in the project ?


All contents are freely available on PLAY International pedagogical media library (in French and English). All pedagogical contents are also available in Italian, Spanish, Polish, German, Hungarian, Greek, Ukrainian, Slovakian; contact the e-mail address down below if interested. 


Related Projects

Agreement number EAC-2019-0529

This project is funded with support from the European Commission. This website reflects the views only of the author and the European Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.