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Pan-European Conference "Sport and Prison"

16-17 June 2014


French National Olympic and Sports Committee

Maison du sport Français
1 avenue de Pierre de Coubertin
75640 Paris cedex 13



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woensdag, 01 april 2015 13:36

Still moving prison(er)s

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In 2015 the non profit organisation De Rode Antraciet celebrated it's 11th birthday.

11 years of sport and culture in the prisons of Flanders and Brussels (#19, Belgium).
To set out their new mission, the organisation launched an animated movie to explain in simple words and images: what they do & why they do it.


The movie is viewable here

donderdag, 05 december 2013 20:13


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Bound by prison, free in sports (read)    


Wie vast zit wil bewegen (read)




maandag, 02 december 2013 13:40


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The final report and all the individual research (annexes) of the project can be downloaded below.

Links for downloading: 

Final report 'Prisoners on the move'

Annex 1               Theoretical framework ‘social inclusion’ (Vrije Universiteit Brussel)

Annex 2               Sport and physical activity in European prisons (University of Valencia)

Annex 3               Sport Landscapes (FROS)

Annex 4               Detention & Sport, from the perspective of the organized sport sector (FROS)

Annex 5               Sport in prison research (ICES and Vrije Universiteit Brussel)

Annex 6               Documentary ‘Free to Play’

Prisoners on the move

Feedback and recommendations by Sport and Citizenship

Sport and Citizenship has been committed since its very beginning to the launch of a European civic dialogue in the field of sport thanks to multidisciplinary approach and transverse reflections
aiming at putting European sport stakeholders in relation with each other: governments, sport movement, as well as civil society, academics and the private sector.
Among its tasks within the “Prisoners on the Move” project, the think tank has consulted its Scientific Committee in order to bring a new overview and some recommendations for the project
on the basis of the report delivered by FROS. This Scientific Committee is composed of a wide variety of profiles and gathers more than one hundred experts who allow the think tank to propose
a transverse approach with opinions from different cultures and backgrounds.
Here below are the results of this consultation, hence Sport and Citizenship’s feedback and recommendations towards the use of sport within the prisons.


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zondag, 24 november 2013 11:54

Documentary 'Free to play'

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“Free to Play” takes its cameras away from the traditional half-way line and goes inside a Danish prison to explore sport as a form of rehabilitation. Focusing on prisoners in an open prison, this documentary seeks to investigate sports potential for social inclusion in Denmark. Discovering how four prisoners themselves experience sport as part of a structured programme. The human reality of how sport is played in prison will bring new light to an often-grey area.

This documentary was built with support from the European Commission, 
within the preparatory action 2010 ‘Prisoners on the move’. 
This product is not expressing opinions from the European Commission”



Sport et Citoyennneté
Universitat de Valéncia Estudi General
The Danish Ministry of Justice - Prisons and Probation Service
Centrul Roman Pentru Eucatie Si Dezvoltare Umana
The Belgium Ministry of Justice - Prison Service
International Centre for Ethics in Sport 
De Rode Antraciet vzw

zondag, 24 november 2013 11:45

Sport in prison research

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Prisoners on the move

Move into sport, move through sport!

Prof. Dr. Marc Theeboom
Prof. Dr. Kristine De Martelaer
Research assistant Zeno Nols


1)Purpose and framing of the research
2)Timing and methodology
3)Prison life ‘in a nutshell’
-Survey (with summary after each theme)
- In-depth screening (2 case studies)


•The European commission has adopted new proposals aimed at strengthening the social, economic and organisational dimensions of sport

•“Sport is important for Europe’s economy and a key component of its social model. The measures we have adopted today highlight sport’s contribution to our society and will help improve the way sport is run.” (Androulla Vassiliou, the European Commissioner for Education, Culture, Multilingualism, Youth and Sport)

•‘Prisoners on the Move! Move into sport, move through sport!’. Project leader: De Rode Antraciet vzw (DRA - The Red Anthracite)

•Main objective: “Aiming for the reintegration of prisoners into community as an overall policy in detention, sport(-related) initiatives with the focus on social inclusion will be developed. In particularly the group of ethnic cultural minorities, who are overrepresented in EU-prisons (until 50% and more)”


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zondag, 24 november 2013 11:37

Sports & Detention

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Sports & Detention

from the perspective of the organized sports sector

in Spain, France, the UK, Romania, Denmark, The Netherlands and Belgiu

Prisoners on the Move, a 2010 Preparatory Action in the field of sports of the EU-Commission

(The content of this report reflects the view of the author of this EU-project only, the hereby mentioned institutions and/or people cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained herein.)

Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights

Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners

Adopted by the First United Nations Congress on the Prevention of Crime and the Treatment of Offenders, held at Geneva in 1955, and approved by the Economic and Social Council by its resolutions 663 C (XXIV) of 31 July 1957 and 2076 (LXII) of 13 May 1977

Exercise and sport

Art 21. (1)

Every prisoner who is not employed in outdoor work shall have at least one hour of suitable exercise in the open air daily if the weather permits.

Art 21. (2)

Young prisoners, and others of suitable age and physique, shall receive physical and recreational training during the period of exercise. To this end space, installations and equipment should be provided.


"Globalization" is a fairly recent historical term only showing up in the encyclopedia in the second half of the 20th century. (1) (2) (3) One of the commonly accepted definitions of globalization is: "Globalization in its literal sense is the process of transformation of local phenomena into global ones. It can be described as a process by which the people of the world are unified in a single society and function together. This process is a combination of economic, technological, socio-cultural and political forces. " (4) In its summarized version, one could describe the phenomenon as “The ‘process’ whereby the world becomes one village.” (5)

“Europeanization” is not equal to globalization, but Europe has also seen over the past decades a variety of ‘processes’ of integration. In an etymological sense, ‘integration’ is clearly different to ‘standardization’.

Referring to the common statement ‘the world becomes a village’, it is clear that people living in a village do have something in common, but are not the same. Indeed there are many variances between people in a village when it comes to gender, age, religion, political beliefs, professions, cultural interests and so many more ways of living. Moreover, it is unwishful that within a village one would strive to all become the same type of persons with the same way of living. On the contrary, differences form an integral part and are required for a village to exist.

In “Olympism for the 21st Century”, Prof J. Parry states “The general problem is how we are to operate at a global (universal) level whilst there exist such apparently intractable differences at the particular level. {…} sport seeks to be universal in its values: mutual recognition and respect, tolerance, solidarity, equity, anti-discrimination, peace, multiculturalism, etc. This is a quite specific set of values, which are at once a set of universal general principles; but which also require different interpretations in different cultures - stated in general terms; interpreted in the particular.”

This brings us to the triple pre-dominant values fundamental to amongst others the EU-Commission Unit Sport: autonomy, self-regulation ands subsidarity. This is also what the research of the implication of the sports organized sector in the ‘Preparatory Action in the Field of Sports’ on ‘Sports in Detention’ is all about. Learning from each other, understanding oneself through each other, cross-pollinating, cross-fertilization, joint initiatives and network elaboration. I.e. speaking on the same topic in general, allowing the different meanings to be brought forward in particular. So, that the particularization leads to universalism and the universilization leads to particularism. (5)

Inclusion, the framework under which our Preparatory Action resorts hereby is the key-term. It makes clear that the integrity of the particularity is respected whilst at the same time diminishing the barriers is aimed at.

This search for a universal representation at the interpersonal and social level of the people in detention is reflected in the specific research presented hereunder.

The underneath analysis of the approach of the organized sports sector for people in detention is hence not a comparative research but an analysis in the regional/national particularity, actually embedded in their typical socio-cultural environment, at stake.

This research is intended to give a better understand how the organized sports sector works with sport in one’s own region/country as well as in the other regions/countries. It may also offer the opportunity for further proper development, cross-pollination, cross-fertilization, setting up joint initiatives or long-lasting networking.

Quoting Prof Dr J. Scheerder “In order to develop effective policy making and to set realistic targets, at the European as well as at the (sub)national level, it is necessary to gain a thorough understanding of sport participation rates, trends and differences. Yet, {…}, the information currently available does not suffice. The present report is meant to contribute to the gathering of knowledge in this field, allowing for evidence-based policy making.” (7)

(1) Dictionnaire de l'Académie Française (2) Wikipedia (4) Encyclopaedia Britannica (4) Croucher, S.L. (2004). Globalization and Belonging: The Politics of Identity in a Changing World. p.10. Rowman & Littlefield.
(5) Robertson, R. (1992). Globalization: social theory and global culture. Sage, London.
(6) Parry, J. (2003). Olympism for the 21st Century
(7) Scheerder, J. et al. (2011). Understanding the Game. Sport participation in Europe. In: Sport Policy & Management (10). Leuven, KULeuven


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zondag, 24 november 2013 11:33

Sport landscapes (FROS)

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Sport state profiles of the ‘Prisoner on the Move’ EU-project countries.

Sport is embedded in the societal organization of each country.

To understand how sport in detention is structured and organized in Europe, it is important to understand how sport is structured and organized in each of the individual countries in Europe. The structure and organization of sport in each of the individual countries is then again strongly influenced by the societal organization of these countries. This is confirmed by the research of Prof Dr. Camy (1) leading to the academic finding/description of four main types of societal models in which the structure and organization of sport is embedded in these societies.

It is outside the scope of this EU-project ‘Prisoners on the Move’ to research and describe the societal organization and development of the countries holding a partnership on this EU-project. It nevertheless is important to understand the structure and organization of the sports landscape of each of these countries.

Therefore, the findings of Prof Dr. Camy are hereby briefly described


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Social inclusion, sport and the prison - Theoretical framework Prisoners on the move.

Social inclusion refers to a variety of issues regarding poverty, social injustices and inequality, issues that would appear to be universal and prevalent in all societies (Bailey, 2008). The converse of social inclusion is social exclusion. Social exclusion can take different forms, such as lack of access to power, knowledge, services, facilities, choice and opportunity (Long et al., 2002). Other definitions draw much more attention to the processes of exclusion rather than only the result of exclusion. In line with this viewpoint, measures taken to reduce indicators of exclusion (i.e. in health, education, employment) will not necessary succeed in encouraging inclusion if these measures fail to tackle the processes of exclusion (Bailey, 2008).

In literature, different but often (partly) overlapping conceptualisations of social inclusion can be found. The conceptualisation of social inclusion by Engbersen and Gabriëls (1995) provides us with a frame to study social inclusion. These authors describe social inclusion as having a functional, an expressive and a moral dimension. The functional dimension refers to matching individuals to the institutional structures of society. How to make people’s actions attuned so that society can run smoothly? Often, studies about the contribution of leisure initiatives to social inclusion only consider this dimension. A quote from positive development researcher Reed Larson (2000) illustrates this stance: “Given the renewed ideology of enterprise capitalism […] the importance of initiative hardly needs selling. The economic, social and political order of our society presupposes an individual who is capable of autonomous action” (p. 171). However, Engbersen and Gabriëls (1995) indicated the relevance of taking into account an expressive and moral ‘objection’ to this stance. Their expressive dimension refers to the search of people to find value and recognition in social life and is reformulated by Bouverne-De Bie (2002) as the opportunities of people to participate in social structures in a way that makes it possible for them to tune reason, appreciation and acting and, in this, find social recognition and self-respect. The third dimension, the moral dimension, refers to the principles that should be agreed upon so that a fair redistribution of social resources could be effected.


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vrijdag, 22 november 2013 21:58

Bound by prison

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Bound by prison

                free in sport


“Sport is part of every man and woman's heritage and its absence can never be compensated for.”
                                                                                                                                Pierre de Coubertin (1863 – 1937)


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