In recent years, European countries have become hosting destinations for thousands of people who have been forced to leave their home countries. Greece is one of the main European hosting countries of refugees, especially children. Thus, the pupil population is gradually changing and the need for intercultural education is increasing. Physical education (PE) and sports have been recorded as suitable contexts for this process. However, there are still many challenges present in these contexts. The following study attempts to present the perceptions of PE teachers, coaches, and academics on the inclusion of refugees in PE and sports. Fifteen PE teachers/coaches and academics involved in the field of intercultural education participated in the study. A phenomenological approach was followed through semi-structured interviews. The method of thematic analysis was chosen to analyze the data. While all the participants considered PE and sports to be the most suitable contexts for the inclusion of refugees, they emphasized certain barriers to be overcome: The lack of training for PE teachers and coaches, prejudices of the parents of both natives and refugees, and refugees’ socioeconomic status and gender issues. Participants also shared their ideas for an adequate training program to improve PE teachers’ and coaches’ attitudes and promote their knowledge and skills regarding the inclusion of refugees. The participants underlined the need for intercultural education and well-structured training programs to properly manage culturally diverse environments.

DOI: 10.2478/pcssr-2021-0016
ISSN: 20812221