First successful networking event – inclusion in and through sport –

After a captivating opening speech by Mrs. Alexandra Adel – Member of the Brandenburg City Council an der Havel for the Departments of Youth, Social Affairs, School and Sport as well as for the operation of the pool and adventure pool, Mr. Matthias Pietschmann – First Chairman of the Board of Directors of Lebenshilfe Brandenburg-Potsdam eV and Mr. Sebastian Bradke – Managing Director of the City Sports Association Brandenburg an der Havel is very confident and very helpful with interesting topics. After a round of introductions by the attending participants, the project approaches were explained, 1. Direct Commitment – Commitment to a locally inclusive association and 2. The Host City Programme, upon which the Sustainable Network Foundation is based, are briefly explained again.

And it turned out that both projects are working on preparations for the National Games of the Special Olympics 2022 and the Special Olympics World Games 2023 in Berlin. In addition, they must strengthen inclusive structures throughout Germany, build new ones and have a lasting impact in the inclusive sports and social fields.

Ms. Catherine Teitz – Commissioner for the City of Brandenburg an der Havel Integration and Mrs. Sibel Steinhauser – Head of the Sports Department of the City of Brandenburg an der Havel presented excerpts from the Integrated Municipal Sports Development Plan. A survey conducted in this context from 2021, in which 48 sports clubs from Brandenburg an der Havel participated, focused on how the target group currently focuses on people with disabilities in the well-established municipal sports scene and what are the causes. Behind the creation of sports performances perhaps he spoke to people with disabilities. Furthermore, all participants were interviewed with three recently trained engagement counselors. The Engagement Counselors trained through the LIVE project are people with intellectual disabilities who, as experts on their behalf, represent the interests and needs of other people with disabilities. One of the most important foundations here is the principle of “not without us”. Another objective of the Participation Advisers is to be available to interested sports clubs in an advisory capacity in order to provide inclusive sports offerings for people with disabilities. Another highlight is a digital survey among all participants, where they can, among other things, contribute their expectations from the network or their resources to the network.

With our city’s application in the Special Olympics Host City Program for the World Games 2023 in Berlin, Brandenburg an der Havel will host a delegation of around 50 people from Malaysia. With the help of network partners, it is now a matter of setting up an exciting and comprehensive three-day host program.

With the network’s first meeting – inclusion in and through sport – an important step was taken in the direction of a more inclusive urban society. In addition to the thematic project and network work, it now means above all that, together with a strong network, we are now collecting ideas for barrier-free sports and leisure activities, developing small projects and breaking down existing barriers in structural and technical, digital or media. Now, in keeping with the ‘not without us’ principle, it is time to take the next steps towards a more inclusive society – especially in and through sport.

The next network meeting will take place on September 7, 2022 at 5:00 PM at the Technology and Startup Center.

Many thanks to all participants for actively participating in the first network meeting and we look forward to a more inclusive future together. Editorial office of Lebenshilfe Brandenburg-Potsdam eV

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