Sport and Autism, from a scientific diagnosis to the CREation of a pedagogical European model

The Sacree program aims at improving the daily lives of people on the autism spectrum by promoting the inclusive practice of sport activities. Running for 36 months, until 2025, the project is funded by the European Commission’s Erasmus+ Sport Program.

A few recent studies have looked into the impact of sport on people on the autism spectrum. However, these studies targeted local practitioners and used small samples that might not reflect a common reality for people on the autism spectrum across Europe. Similarly, former EU projects dedicated to support people with disabilities through sports activities only targeted very specific sports, disabilities in general, or physical disabilities. Therefore, both the research on the impact of sport on people on the autism spectrum, as well as concrete access to sport across Europe for people on the autism spectrum need to be improved.

Sacree targets a better integration of people on the autism spectrum in sport activities and the society in general, by fostering their access to physical activity, adapted to their needs through sustainable solutions. The project will contribute to creating an inclusive ecosystem that can be replicated everywhere in Europe. It also aims to raise awareness among European sport clubs, their staff and practitioners, as well as other professionals, researchers and involved stakeholders. By bringing together actors from the world of autism, sport, and science, Sacree project intends to co-construct an evidence-based pedagogical model, built on a scientific comparative study and field-tests carried out in different environments and countries.

The main objective of Sacree project is to contribute to the recognition of sport as a tool for the inclusion of people on the autism spectrum and to foster European knowledge on sport and autism. Beyond increasing the quality of life of people on the autism spectrum as well as their families, friends, and relatives, Sacree project will open new horizons to EU stakeholders and EU policies-makers for future actions to promote a more inclusive and diverse society.

To meet Sacree overall objectives as efficiently as possible, partners have worked together to create a wide and innovative network, with 3 core characteristics: transnational, transdisciplinary and cross-sectorial.

  • Transnational : 5 European Union countries (Belgium, France, Italy, Portugal, and Croatia) are targeted, with different contexts regarding the inclusion of people with disabilities.
  • Transdisciplinary: Sacree project addresses topics in sports, autism, social sciences and health.
  • Cross-sectorial: Sacree groups 1 National Sport Federation (FSASPTT), 1 international association (Autism-Europe), 1 historical football club (SS Romulea), 1 University (C3S: Culture, Sport, Health and Society Laboratory of Université Bourgogne Franche-Comté), 1 union of associations for autism (CUAA: Croatian Union of Associations for Autism), and 1 national association (Inovar Autismo).

This pool of partners is dedicated to the exchange of good practices, the analysis of success factors and shortcomings of different field tests, as well as the understanding of how target groups are benefiting from the results, to increase the impact and transferability of the results.

Autism-Europe leads the dissemination and sustainability of the project and facilitate the exchange of information and best practices across Europe.

More information on the project’s website (coming soon).

More about Erasmus+

Erasmus+ is the EU’s programme to support education, training, youth and sport in Europe. It has an estimated budget of € 26.2 billion. The 2021-2027 programme places a strong focus on social inclusion, the green and digital transitions, and promoting young people’s participation in democratic life.