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Promoting integration with sports

Be Active

Marker Helsinki, Finland
Sports is a great way to bring students together. This package includes examples on how sports has been used to promote integration in two culturally diverse schools.

What is it all about?

“Sport unites us all, the whole school community! That’s our experience and outcome from an excellent year of sports.”

Tarja Tapper, headmaster

Useful social, psychological and physical skills can be attained through sport, which also affects students’ school satisfaction and well-being.

Sports is a great way to promote integration in school as well as outside of it, as it can be used to help students of different backgrounds integrate into the school and the local community. Students get to meet lots of different people, build relationships and establish a community.

Sports activities can be especially helpful for first-generation immigrant students and is one of the most essential ways for them to meet new people. During sports, an individual’s skills in the sport define their identity instead of other characteristics such as their ethnicity or their language skills, that can limit communication if they’re not yet fluent or are just starting to learn their new home language.

In 2016-2017, two schools experimented with adding more exercise to the school day in a way that best promotes integration. The following steps show some of the ways these schools have motivated students to exercise more.

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Intended Outcomes
7 - 16
Age Group
Resources Needed
Schools can use the equipment and resources they already have. To increase the types of sports, local clubs can offer their equipment and expertise too. The Kallahti elementary school used sport trackers (pulse/heart-rate monitors) but the innovation can be carried out without them or with any monitoring equipment you prefer.
HundrED Criteria
This innovation provides students with social, psychological and physical skills while increasing a sense of togetherness.
This innovation increases students’ overall well-being by promoting common spirit as well as increasing the amount of physical exercise.
Sports can work as a tool for integration in all kinds of multicultural environments, anywhere in the world.

See this innovation in action.


Inspired to implement this? Here's how...

Be Active week
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Collaboration with local sports clubs
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Making use of activity trackers
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