A sports group for children and young people living with a disability will start in the gymnastics club in June. Circus teacher Nina Breimaier started the group with the name “The colorful bears” and the motto “Everyone is special – together we are strong”. The offer is also open to children and young people who want to play sports together without performance pressure. A tasting meeting is scheduled for Monday, May 30th.
Inclusion is not a matter of course everywhere
It will be an offer for children like Frieda. When she meets SÜDKURIER, the little one takes a few shaky steps in the gravel on the gymnastics club’s playground. One-year-old Toni sits next to him and looks at her older friend with a smile. Both children were born with Down syndrome. Her mothers Simone Köfer and Nina Breimaier met each other in the Sonnenkinder playroom.
Both women were professionally involved in inclusion children before having their children. Simone Köfer is an educator and worked at Arche Konstanz, an integrated day care institution. Nina Breimaier treats children and young people who are in psychiatric treatment. Since becoming mothers to affected children themselves, they have realized that inclusion is not a matter of course everywhere.
Participation is also important in leisure time
“We want to be involved, but it’s not always easy,” says Köfer. It often depends on the goodwill of those responsible. Nina Breimaier adds: “Community does not only mean that the children can go to school and learn mathematics and German. You also want to do something together in your free time.”
It is their experience that many families would like to have more leisure activities with their children that are not performance oriented. This applies not only when a child is living with a disability, but also, for example, when there are developmental delays. Many of these children like to play football, do gymnastics or dance. But at a different pace and without competitive pressure.
The gym is ready
At David Kilgus, the head of the sports department at Radolfzell Gymnastics Club, Breimaier immediately found open ears. He has reserved an exercise room for the group on Monday afternoon, where balls, towels and other equipment for the sport are available. When the weather is good, the club’s outdoor area with play equipment and a large meadow right by the lake can also be used.
Which sporting direction it will ultimately take depends on the registrations and the composition of the group, Breimaier says. The group is open to the little ones, from toddlers to teenagers. She explains restrictively: “We do not offer a ready-made program.” Parents should not just give their children away, they should stay with them. This is especially true when the children are small. Köfer and Breimaier would like to give ideas on how to play and play sports. Over time, one or another coach in the gymnastics club may join.
The exact sports program needs to be developed
Kilgus says we need to see how the group develops and whether some of the children can later play sports without their parents. He has already cared for a few children with disabilities. “It’s not always easy,” says the sports teacher. Because: “As coaches, we can bring openness and kindness, but we are not inclusion experts.” Breimaier is very grateful just for the opportunity to offer the group under the umbrella of the gymnastics club: “So we are with and not alone. “