In line with the European Council conclusions of 18 November 2010 on the role of sport as a source of and a driver for active social inclusion, the WINGS project has as a main objective to

encourage and promote participation in sport of people who come from disadvantaged backgrounds, at the same time as ensuring their inclusion into society through sport by introducing them to new social networks and equipping them with new skills”

Specific objectives of the project are:

  1. Encourage and promote participation in sport of the following target groups:
    –     women and girls who are victims of violence
  2. women and girls who are of high risk of being victims of violence
  3. Design and implement a study that will allow to collect data and to strengthen a network of cooperation among the partners participating in the project, so that members and associations in each region may take advantage of the synergies and exchanges produced. This study should:
    1. Describe in detail the current situation of sports among target groups.
    1. Help to understand the issues associated with the promotion of sport that are perceived as obstacles or incentives for the practice of sport among target groups.
    1. Propose specific actions to improve the shortcomings which have been identified
  4. Promote good practices of sport among target groups
    1. Prepare video material of good practices in each partner country
    1. Prepare a manual with description of good practices in each partner country
  5. Disseminate all the material, documents and studies produced throughout the project to stakeholders and policy makers working with the target groups.

Needs analyses of target groups

Violence against women and girls is a global epidemic, with over one in three women across the world subject to violence at some point in their lifetime according to World Health Organization (WHO) statistics (WHO 2013).

The only regional statistics on gender-based violence are from the EU-wide survey on violence against women conducted by the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA 2014).

Some key findings from the FRA survey in 28 EU countries

» Half of all women surveyed have experienced sexual harassment;

» 43% of women have experienced psychological violence by a partner.

» One in three women has experienced sexual or physical violence by an adult before they were 15.

» 22% per cent of women have experienced physical or sexual violence by a partner.

» 18%  of women have experienced some form of stalking – most often by a previous partner.

»  One in 20 women has been raped since the age of 15.

» Only one in three (33 %) of victims of physical and/or sexual partner violence and one in four

(26 %) victims of physical and/or sexual non-partner violence sought help by contacting the police, a doctor,

a women’s shelter or victim support.

» Half of all women avoid certain situations for fear of being physically or sexually assaulted.

The first step of the project will be to collect and confront needs analysis of the target groups in the partner countries and identify good practices of sport as a tool to combat violence against women and girls.

Sports and in particular judo and martial sports are a powerful tool that can help developing social skills in girls and women that can give them the strength to change their lives.

Beyond the development of physical prowess and athletic ability, judo students learn much more. They learn how to control their feelings, emotions, and impulses. They learn about values of perseverance, respect, loyalty, and discipline. Judo students develop an outstanding work ethic, as well as important social manners and etiquette. They learn to overcome their fears, and to show courage under pressure. Through competition and the rigors of daily practice, they learn about justice and fairness. Through their experience, they learn about politeness, modesty, and many other wonderful values that contribute to their development as successful citizens of society. As such, judo facilitates the development of important moral knowledge and values, those that are important to help people and in particular vulnerable groups to become active members of their communities.

Through this project we want to go further in using sport as a tool in favor of women and girls victims or at high risk of violence; the advantage is that sports and physical activities are present in all cultures, countries and social classes. To achieve this goal, interaction and co-operation are required among private sports associations and non-profit organisations that promote the practice of grassroots sport and sport for all in Italy (UISP), Portugal (GCP) and organisations targeting vulnerable groups like the Bulgarian partner. Our partner organisations work for the physical and psychological wellbeing of children and women and play a decisive role in organizing extracurricular activities.

The WINGS project will give opportunity to partner organisations to further develop capacity in designing and implementing initiatives for social inclusion and combating violence against women, increase the image of partner organisations as organisations that can work at European level and promote sport as a citizens’ right no matter origin, race and background.

Project started in 2019 – ongoing