Different Heroes of Hask Mladost

The Erasmus+ Sport project “Sports for Different Heroes” (duration 01/01/2019-30/06/2020, coordinated by Olympiacos, partnered by Lazio, Crvena zvezda, APOEL and HAŠK Mladost) aims to bridge sport as means of integration and inclusion for persons with mental disorders. Every of the multisport clubs approached the goal with specific methods. While most of the clubs used various sports, often on a team basis, HAŠK Mladost opted for judo – an individual sport where the training in the most specific part is held between the coach and the pupil. The Croatian club organized a multisport event for people with mental disabilities in the Mladost Sport Park in Zagreb on 16 June 2019.
Every pupil was approached on their own needs and requirements, therefore adjusting to the specific disabilities that each of the children and youngsters participating in this experimental project activity had. Judo is a contact sport – it builds on the personal integrity to defend oneself by using a proper posture, movement and preparation for combat. The combat itself uses specific movements that define one technique and enables the person to both defend oneself and achieve a goal to overpower one adversary.
On motoric level – it is very important to realize that with games and play, it becomes much easier to motivate persons with mental disabilities to develop movements that are situationally defined, making them slowly adapt to the circumstances of the tatami square area.
On social level – persons with mental disabilities often have additional social disabilities. By practizing of an individual sport activity – such as is judo – this issue is tackled in a way they become more confident in interaction with other people on a basis including rules, purpose and competition between athletes.
The coach should have a background in working with people with disabilities, especially mental ones, the longer the experience the more skilled the coach will be. The education in this area is scarce and experience represents the best qualification to secure results in the training. HAŠK Mladost has a coach with a 15-year experience in the field who works with one of its best students with mental abilities – Rene Petrovic, led the activity and also used a pupil with an international sport result – Tomislav I.. Having both the right professional skills and a person who feels confident on the floor leads to new members feeling more relaxed and compelled to properly give the sport a new try.
Altogether the activity lasted for 2 hours, as it took some time to get them all in kimono and have them placed in an orderly manner to take turns and later on to work in pairs. Persons that participated in the experimental action:
Marko K.
Hrvoje F.
Igor S.
Magdalena H.
Tomislav Č.
Dominig Gj.
Tomislav I.
Together with Rene there were 2 coaches participating in leading the training.
Final remarks after the completion of the experimental training activity: for a person without previous expertise in this area, it had been an increasingly valuable experience, witnessing how young people adapt and accept a new sport to communicate and cooperate with their surrounding. Judo, being a contact sport, gave the people a chance to prove their motor, balance and strength capabilities with one another. It was especially interesting how they interacted with one another, following the orderly rules and concept of judo combat.
Judo is a sport recommended to other clubs so as to give the persons with mental disadvantages a new perspective and a new method for them to develop their motor and social skills. Judo is a fantastic way for them to have fun and to entertain themselves.
Organized, monitored and prepared by:

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