Many goals, valuable exchange of experience and powerful emotions.
The Special Adventure Camp Central Switzerland 2020 from 14-19 September enabled us to offer a special kind of sports camp to young people with physical or mental disabilities despite Covid-19. Kids who are enthusiastic about football were able to get together for shared experiences. At the same time the camp was used to make the topic of “inclusion” accessible to a bigger community.
In addition to the training sessions, the camp programme included inclusion tournaments with youth players from various football clubs and regular schools.
Coordination training & inclusion day with FC Brunnen
Hans Tanner (Swiss champion long jump and former coordination and running coach FC Zurich) from the Tanner running school was a guest at the start. The coordination training under his direction was informative for players and coaches at the same time. The newly learned training methods for improving running coordination showed the attendees new training possibilities and combined important elements such as fun and learning success.
The first inclusion tournament was held in the early evening. Juniors of FC Brunnen mixed with the Special Needs Teams to compete for the first tournament victory. This showed once again how easy inclusion can be. The barriers were quickly broken down and the young people played football together and with joy.
Inclusion day with the MPS Ingenbohl-Brunnen & talk Inclusion in practice
The inclusion workshop at the MPS Ingenbohl-Brunnen is already an integral part of the curriculum, where the almost 100 pupils were able to get rid of their questions and fears of contact with the topic of impairment. The presentation by our FIM experts and the participating coaches once again impressed pupils and teachers. They then went on to lunch together, where the mixed teams were drawn by lot for the inclusion tournament in the afternoon. This tournament was great fun for the young people with and without disabilities. They were able to experience unforgettable moments on and off the football field.
Afterwards an information evening took place. Coaches and authorities from the Brunnen region as well as supporters and sponsors of the SACs had the opportunity to learn more about the implementation of inclusion projects through a presentation by Dr. Martin Sowa (VfB Stuttgart). Among the numerous participants was the Swiss wrestler Damian von Euw. We were very pleased about the participation and think it is great that young top athletes are also interested in the topic of inclusion.
Inclusion day in Zug
Inclusion day with the football club Zug 94. Every two years the FIM family visits its member in the Herti Stadium in Zug. At this year’s inclusion workshop for the juniors of Zug 94, they were informed in theory and practice about inclusion and how to deal with people with disabilities. A player from VfB Stuttgart gave direct insights into the life of an athlete with disabilities and talked about his participation in the Special World Games in Abu Dhabi or the everyday barriers he has to master. The young people were very impressed and became much more open in dealing with the Special Needs players. This was immediately apparent on the pitch. Besides the sportive ambition, understanding and fairness determined the hustle and bustle on the field.
excursion day & barbecue evening
Every year the SAC also offers a day of excursions as a highlight. This year, it was a boat trip across Lake Lucerne, followed by a cable car ride and a walk from the Seelisberg village to the famous Seeli, where a picnic was taken. The excursion was completed with a visit to the Rütli. For many participants this was the first excursion of this kind in their lives so far and they visibly enjoyed it. After the strenuous hike, the evening was rounded off with a barbecue and a few laps of the go-kart track.
Tournament Finals & Walking Football
The day started with a training session and continued with a course consisting of a quiz and circuit training. The team from FC Lugano showed the most skill, speed and acumen and left the pitch as the proud winners. The joy of the “Camaleonti” from Lugano was immense and the less successful tournament so far was forgotten.
In the late afternoon the final tournament of the Special Needs took place. The VfB Stuttgart team was able to beat FC Brunnen in exciting finals. Even though there was only one winner, nobody left the pitch as a loser.
At the end of the week a Walking Football tournament was held, the first of its kind in Switzerland. Sponsors, patrons and supporters provided a total of eight teams. While Swiss ski racer Sandro Viletta supported the Helvetia team, top scorer Eric Faille, Gian and Luis Janett fought for the tournament victory in the EHC Kloten team. The municipality of Brunnen-Ingenbohl, with its mayor Irène May-Betschart, and the cantonal council of Schwyz also provided a team. Team Helvetia won the tournament under thunderous applause from the Special Needs teams and spectators in the penalty shoot-out.
Additional success: Development of a trainer training
During the week of the camp, numerous coaches and supervisors from Germany, England, France, Austria, Portugal and Switzerland took part in the daily workshops to develop a coaches’ training for teams with disabilities. The coaches of the Special Needs teams Chelsea FC and Paris Saint-Germain, who could not be on site due to the current Covid-19 situation, participated in the exchange via video conference. Social education workers from the Heilpädagogische Schule Sonnenberg, professors from the International Football Institute in Munich and the coach of the Swiss national team for the blind were also on site. Thanks to this group of experts, the first key points for training could be defined and a guideline can now be worked out afterwards.
We would like to thank, also on behalf of the young people, the supporters and volunteers who have remained loyal to us during these turbulent times and who, through their participation, have given the participants unforgettable moments.