The project “Participation and Recreation through Inclusive Martial Arts Education and E-Learning” (acronym “PRIMAE”), approved by the Erasmus Plus National Agency in the UK as part of the program Erasmus Plus KA2 Strategic Partnerships for Adult Education as action n.2019-1-UK01-KA204-061975, has reached the middle of its development path and it is time to produce the appropriate interim report of activities. The European initiative, well coordinated by Ray Sweeney, head of Ikkaido Ltd (a registered charity based in Oxford), aims to develop the first platform to provide online education and training in the martial arts sector, providing an e-learning tool accessible to all, to promote the inclusion of people with disabilities through the aforementioned sport. A respectable partnership is working on the project which, in addition to the English Ikkaido Ltd, includes the following partners: Areadne Oe (Greece), EURO-NET and Futuro Digitale (Italy), Ikkaido Inclusive Martial Arts (Ireland), Stockholm Vastra Idrottsforening For Funktionsnedsatta (Sweden), University Of Cyprus (Cyprus) and Aux Couleurs Du Deba (France).
The project fits perfectly into the European Commission’s <<Europe 2020>> strategy for inclusive, smart, sustainable and active growth which sets the goal of relieving at least 20 million European citizens from poverty and social exclusion and, at the same time, increasing the employment of the population aged between 20 and 64 to 75%. The aim of the project is, in fact, to develop an innovative and useful training curriculum that will include modules that will range from martial arts coaching for adults and children to the use of medicines in sport, from the approach to disabilities to the protection and inclusion of vulnerable children and adults.
In the first year of activity, the partners worked hardly to develop the basis of the various intellectual products, collecting many good sectoral inclusion practices, placing the emphasis on the development of a necessary pedagogical plan, developing an e-learning platform where it will be possible to participate to online courses and a respectable training curriculum.
The objectives that the project wants to achieve – underlined Ray Sweneey, coordinator of the entire project – are very ambitious and that is why we are working hardly, despite all the problems that the covid-19 pandemic has created in the various partner countries, in order to develop a project to be proud of and which can be classified at the end of the activities as a good practice in the Erasmus Plus program because it will have allowed many people with disabilities to engage in physical activity and sport, opening up, at the same time, new job opportunities in the martial arts world. The ultimate goal of the partnership is that the project could be officially recognized by the various countries and by the CEN (European Committee for Normalisation): it would be an exceptional result to which all the Partners are dedicating themselves with great passion and that we are sure to to be able to obtain.
The European initiative, which can also be followed on social media thanks to a specific Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/IkkaidoPrimae, started in September 2019 and will end if there will be no extensions due to the pandemic, by February 2022.