3.1 Introduction and self-assessment

The main aim of this chapter is to make clear some of the principles of psychosocial support, which is an approach designed to promote the resilience of individuals, groups and communities in crisis. Specifically, this section shows how the psychosocial approach can be adopted and adapted by coaches to help the wellbeing and inclusion of refugees in sport.

This part of the manual will also explain why sport is an appropriate setting to provide such support. It discusses the essential elements of psychosocial interventions and the many benefits of positive sporting experiences. Most importantly, it provides practical guidance about how to organise and manage groups and plan appropriate sporting activities, respecting the different backgrounds of such a very diverse group. We also hope that this information will help to overcome coaches’ understandable anxieties about work with traumatised people and to make psychosocial challenges a more normal topic for coaches to deal with.

To better understand what will be discussed in this section, consider the following questions:

  • What psychological or social challenges might a refugee face?
  • Have you ever worked or dealt before with people that have to live with psychological or social challenges?
  • If so, do you remember how you recognised it?
  • Sport and physical activity programmes will not be able to heal any psychological trauma or illness. But do you know how they could be used to support daily living under such conditions?
  • Do you have an idea of what activities and behaviour could be appropriate or perhaps counterproductive?




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