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Integration and sports Refugees in sports clubs

Sports in a club are great ways for refugees to integrate and to get in touch with Germans. Oliver Kalb from the Countrie’s Sports Federation of Rhineland-Palatinate explains how it works.

Trierer Fußballer

Footballers and refugees in the sports club of Trier.

Why is playing sports an important role in the integration of refugees?

Sports clubs can make a substantial contribution to the integration of refugees. Sports help refugees to get a foothold in our society. By common sporting activities people with and without migration background are taught fairness, tolerance, respect and team spirit. Sports help refugees in society to participate and improve the living conditions considerably.

In a simple way new contacts can be formed into sports clubs, language barriers can be broken down and traumatic experiences can be processed. Especially sports bring a certain structure in the dreariest everyday life of refugees. But also sports clubs benefit from the admission of refugees. Cosmopolitanism and cultural diversity among the members can be promoted. Moreover, the practice shows refugees like to be included in association life.

Can refugees just simply join any sports club?

Yes. Refugees and asylum seekers irrespective of their status can participate of sport activities in the team. Whether the person must be a member or not, is the decision of the relevant Association.

If refugees receive a pass or a player-eligibility for playing, when can one join competitions or league games?

Game permissions must be requested by the club at the passport office of the relevant professional association. The local contact person can give further insight on details.

Oliver Kalb

Oliver Kalb, regional sports association of Rhineland-Palatinate

Where can one obtain sports clubs and refugee assistance?

Many sports associations in Germany support the integration efforts of local sports clubs. Rhineland-Palatinate has its own contact and counseling center. The contact can be made via the Landessport und Rheinland-Pfalz (Tel .: 06131 / 2814-191). But refugees may seek direct contact with sports clubs locally. the partners of the local authorities often help, just like the refugee shelters.

Are refugees insured if they participate in the sporting activities of sports clubs?

Refugees who perceive sports in sports clubs are insured even without a formal membership and liability insurance. This protection applies to all official events of the association, for example, in a pub.

Flüchtlinge machen Liegestützen

Sport can help refugees to integrate.

Is there financial support if refugees want to be in a club?

In most sports clubs refugees have to pay no membership fee. Especially for children and young people, there is a support from the education-and-participation packagefrom the government. grants are given to purchase sportswear and a membership in a sports club. The grants are in most cases provided as vouchers or direct payments (eg at the sports club) and must be applied for at the social welfare office with the appropriate forms.