Sport Ability in Disability
Sport is a very powerful engine of inclusion, capable of making relationships between people easier and more immediate, and when it involves children with autism spectrum disabilities it becomes even more important because it can bring many social-relational benefits without medical therapy.
This is the method of action of Aita Onlus, the association that promotes the social inclusion of children with neurodevelopmental disabilities through sports. The 10-year collaboration with the University Sports Center of Catania has led to the birth of Sport Ability in Disability (SAD),a project, supported by Enel Cuore as part of the "In the Heart of Enel Space" initiative developed in collaboration with Enel Energia for the free market, aimed at autistic and socially disadvantaged children, who will be able to use the gyms and facilities of CUS Catania free of charge, to practice sports together with their peers
The 30 participants, aged 5 to 14 years, will be able to practice eight different disciplines up to three times a week, during which they will be paired with sports instructors, who receive specialized training, with qualified staff (psychologists and pedagogists), who are present in a 1:1 ratio to the child experiencing the neuropsychiatric disorder.
The activities, including fencing, tennis, athletics, basketball, and sport climbing, will be organized according to the needs and abilities of each of the participants, assessed in an initial cognitive meeting with each child through small tests and questions to understand their level of stress and well-being in relation also to the parental context.
In order to make the little sportsmen feel more comfortable, a few days before the start of the program they will be able to visit the facility together with their families so as to foster adaptation and familiarity with the sports environment, the tools for the activities, the spaces, but also with all the medical, psychiatric, and sports staff who will always be present to best support the children in various aspects: improving their cognitive skills, helping them communicate better, promoting their integration, and raising awareness among peers about autism.
Association: Progetto Aita Onlus
Intended beneficiaries:: children and adolescents with autism and disabilities
Contribution: up to 100,000.00 euros
Period: October 2022 - May 2024