Partners meet in Zagreb: review of the survey on sport activities and autistic people and more!

From 17-19 October 2023 all partners of SACREE met in the city of Zagreb, Croatia for their second transnational meeting. Our Croatian partner, the Croatian Union of Associations for Autism, hosted and organised the meetings and the amazing social dinner. 

Review of feedback from the survey and interviews on the experience of autistic people with sport activities

Partners from the Laboratoire C3S Culture, Sport, Health, Society, from the Université de Franche-Comté, presented the results from the survey! Partners reviewed the feedback received through the survey on autistic people and sport from 540 people who provided their views and experience. 

Some first conclusions we can learn from the feedback is that autistic people practice between 1.5 and 2.7 sportive sessions per week, being swimming the favourite practice among the responders. Also, the lack of inclusive and adapted structures for autistic people to practice sport was indicated as the main reason why autistic people are not physically active. Finally, we also noted the lack of trained educators as one of the major obstacles.

The interviews conducted through the different partners have also been key to better know about the experience of autistic people, their families and coaches about sport activities. Some testimonies from different interviews:

“when I go and do the exercises, I always try to distract myself from the outside world and focus only on my thoughts. The only thing that can make it difficult to practice sports is fear. Fear of what might happen or how to interact with people. As soon as I start doing something, that fear disappears.”
Ricardo, autistic man who practices bodybuilding

He chose football because it makes him feel included and part of a team, allowing him to connect with others.  The main problem is the indifference and lack of particular attention to those in need. Unfortunately, modern society tends to overlook people with difficulties.

Manlio, parent of 33 years old autistic person.

Based on the responses and information received, partners worked on the structure of the future SACREE model: a guidelines document which will provide a programme on inclusive sport activities for autistic people. 

Dissemination and next steps 

During the meeting, Autism-Europe presented the status of the different social media channels as well as an outline of the next external communication actions. If you want to stay tuned about the latest SACREE´s actions and news, follow us on Facebook and Instagram and sign up to our newsletter. The next issue is coming soon! 

Partners are working on the comprehensive literature review on the effects of physical activity and sport on autism as well as on the development of the SACREE model. Both outcomes will be ready by February 2024.

We also had time to enjoy a great traditional Croatian dinner in the city center, as well as a nice walk around the city. 

We invite you to check some photos on our Facebook page.

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