This summer, we would like to present you other projects on the theme Sport and Autism conducted by the co-partners of Sacree project. To create our sport programme, we take inspiration from progress and good practices from other projects.
We are going to start this series of articles by the presentation of the project Tennis 4ALL, conducted by our co-partner Inovar Autismo and the Tennis Club Setúbal.
The vast majority of young autistic people do not practice any type of individual or team sport (Duquette et al, 2016). Several international studies have also demonstrated the importance of tennis for the integral development of these children and young people. To fulfill this need, the pilot project “Tennis 4ALL” promoted the training of the coaches of the Setúbal Tennis Club with the aim of creating a methodology and a pilot class of 12 young people with disabilities, for 6 months.
To realize this project, the following objectives were outlined:
- Promote the inclusion of children and young autistic people in the community, through the practice of tennis, in line with the principles of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities;
- Empower regular sports structures – tennis clubs, through the pilot test at the Setúbal Tennis Club, for diversity in sport, i.e. to welcome children and young autistic people in their sports activities;
- Promote sports practice and healthy lifestyle habits for young autistic people, who usually have a significant deficit of physical exercise and are especially overweight;
- Demonstrate to families, institutions and the community in general that the practice of sport and the inclusion of young autistic people is possible in regular contexts and not only within institutions in the field of disability.