Portrait and Mission
Sport & Integration = Sportegration
The association Sportegration offers refugees and asylums seekers a place where they can do sports. They have the opportunity to get to know other participants, coaches and helpers in a relaxed atmosphere and to establish social contacts.
In various free training programs our participants get to know the Swiss community while sweating together. Our members find new friends and important support in a sportive environment.
First training in 2016 in the Silo Löwenbräu
Sportegration started in the summer of 2016, following from the humanitarian refugee crisis which began the previous year. Wars raging across parts of the Middle East and Africa caused the arrival of countless refugees at the European borders who desperately needed help.
The first training took place in the former Löwenbräu silo in the city of Zurich.
Many participants were immediately enthusiastic and soon brought more and more interested people along. Consequently, the association Sportegration was founded in September 2016.
Growth and expansion until now
Sportegration has increased rapidly: Many new sports and training programs have been added, including some exclusively for women.
To further promote the integration of refugees in Switzerland, Sportegration also started offering school subjects in 2018; we now offer a German course as well as math, English and computer courses. Since then, Sportegration has also been present outside the city of Zurich, mainly in Winterthur and Urdorf.
Direct contact and support
In addition to sports and tutoring courses, coaches and volunteers also assist participants with personal issues. We help our participants with writing letters and applications and support them in difficult times, for example when an asylum decision sadly does not meet their expectations.
Furthermore, the Sportegration sponsorship program provides support in a 1: 1 setting and thus promotes social integration and encourages the formation of new friendships.
Refugees and asylum seekers can access Sportegration services for free. A symbolic amount is required only for courses that have a very high demand but only limited capacity. For a donation of CHF 10 per training, locals and expats who have a regular income are welcome to join the courses.
"Fit-/boxing is not about learning how to punch as hard as you can. Instead, fit-/boxers train their concentration and coordination and improve their condition. In addition to the valuable contribution to health, fit-/boxing promotes the social integration of the trainee. There are clear rules in (partner) training. Mutual respect, decency, friendliness and compassion are emphasized in training and also outside of class.
Thugs have no room and quickly lose interest in the sport because they do not want to submit to these rules.
Because fitness-/boxing helps to develop courage, willpower, discipline, resilience, self-control, responsibility and self-confidence, this has a valuable effect on life outside the ring or the training room.".