SPAT: Sport and Physical Activity Trainer
Our 'Sport and Physical Activity Trainer' (SPAT) project aims to train people with disabilities to become sports and games instructors and guide them to jobs in relevant sectors.
The project started in Ethiopia in 2009 where it is still active and has had a major impact on an entire generation of children with a disability. In 2019 the project was also introduced in Kenya at the Kwale Deaf Centre.
Inclusion and imaging
The idea behind SPAT is that sport and exercise are excellent means to contribute to the emancipation of Deaf people in Kenya. SPAT uses sport and exercise to counteract the generally negative image of Deaf people that exists in society, and to create concrete job opportunities in relevant sectors.
The SPATs provide sports activities to schoolchildren around Kwale, both at regular schools and to children with special needs. It is not common in many developing countries that children with a disability can participate in sports activities, and the SPAT program makes this possible. Besides all the associated benefits (development of movement skills, communication, learning to work together, etc.), the SPATs are inspiring examples for the children of what you can achieve in life, despite your handicap. This 'role model function' is an important part of the methodology.
The SPATs also provide sports activities and games to children without disabilities and to adults. Also for them they are inspiring examples, and they counterbalance the prevailing negative image. Even in the West you will not easily see Deaf people teaching sports in regular education settings. This makes the project very unique.