The freedom to play sports and exercise together: Happy2Move makes it possible

It’s normal for most children to want to play outside with a male or female friend, or to join a sports club. That can prove problematic for children with physical or mental impairments. Happy2Move offers children with physical or mental impairments the ability to play sports and exercise together in Amsterdam, with support from the Schiphol Fund.

Sports for children with physical or mental impairments

Alex Breedt, one of Happy2Move’s creators, said: “There is a great need for after-school activities during the day for children with physical or mental impairments. These children often attend special schools that are far from home, so their friends live further away. In addition, they need intensive guidance, which means they cannot just go anywhere. Exercise and sports is often a huge undertaking for these children”.

Gym lessons with social skills

Happy2Move offers physically or mentally impaired children with an opportunity to play sports and exercise after school. We actually offer a gym class at their level of fitness. These children usually do little sports and exercise, and lack social skills due to their limitations. That is precisely why Happy2Move involves more than just physical movement – we also teach the children social skills, provide a healthy meal and pick them up or drop them off at home.

Learning to win, lose and follow the rules

“Children with physical or mental impairments often become victims of bullying and have more difficulty playing together and communicating with each other. We help those chldren with this situation. They learn to deal with winning, losing and following rules. We offer a safe environment in which they have to deal with all kinds of sporting situations, like aiming, throwing and balancing - just like high school gym class. Therefore, we need a lot of sports equipment for that”.

Sponsorship by the Schiphol Fund

“We applied to the Schiphol Fund in 2017 in order to purchase sporting materials. Thanks to that sponsorship, we were able to purchase many footballs, pawns, badminton rackets, frisbees, and so on. The material is intensively used by at least 80 children every day. We are very happy with it and the project has become much bigger than we ever dared to dream. Any help that can be offered to these children is more than welcome”.

Happy2Move received a donation of € 3,033.19 for the purchase of sporting equipment in 2017.