22 December 2018 – During the Christmas judo training organised by the judo club Rijeka, children with developmental difficulties also joined the welcoming of Santa Claus. The children train judo according to adjusted programme via the project JudoIN. The project by the association Pokret – aktivan i zdrav (Movement – Active and Healthy) promotes social inclusion of children with developmental difficulties thatnks to trainers of the judo club Rijeka. Among their peers at the Christmas competition in Rijeka, Klara, Iva and Rafael participated too, and training judo has brough these youngsters many happy days – and now the first medals as well. They did win the medals, but mostly hugs were exchanged. A big thank you to coaches Slaviša Bradić, Sandra Uršičić and Aleksandar Obrovac. Love is all we need!
“JUDO INclusion“ is a project of physical activity that includes children with mental difficulties, social difficulties (autism, ADHD etc.), those with sensory difficulties of hearing and sight, children with motor difficulties and those with the Down syndrome. One of the principal tasks of this EU project is the education of the general population of children to learn to accept their peers with developmental difficulties, in order for them to become equal members of the community. The project JudoINclusion supports the inclusion among children by including children with developmental difficulties into sports activities.
The European Social Fund finances the project “JUDO INclusion“ – AKTIVAN I ZDRAV – RIJEKA. The association ‘POKRET – AKTIVAN I ZDRAV’ is implementing the project in Rijeka, within the judo club “Rijeka,“ this under the supervision of a professional team of physical education teachers.
Through joint training sessions in the judo club “Rijeka,“ we are realising the inclusion of children and youth with developmental difficulties into the general population of children from regular sports programmes. Just like any children, the children with developmental difficulties as well struggle very day for self respect and self confidence – it is just that the struggle is even greater in case of children with disabilities – unless we encourage them and include them and integrate them into the community. If they exercise only in clubs for children with developmental difficulties, they are still excluded from the environment they live in. The activities of the project “JUDO INclusion“ are seen best through the development of regular sports programmes and recreational activities and joint trainings of children with developmental difficulties with children from regular sports programmes. Through active participation in trainings and sports events, where they get to know their peers, they develop much better their sporting, communicative and social skills, they get involved into community life where they go to school, live, and tomorrow work as well.
“JUDO INclusion“ activities create the attitude of “I can do this” in a child with special needs, instead of “I cannot do this.” Every day, judo will help them feel safer and more independent. Most importantly, they will be happier. Social inclusion through judo as a sport is therefore exceptionally useful for children with special needs, because it enables them to be socially and physically active.