Danone Sport Schools is a Spanish educational programme that promotes healthy habits and social integration among children aged 6 to 12 from unprivileged areas through sport, education in values (health, nutrition, citizenship…) and tutoring since 2004.
The main goals of the programme are to develop and practice healthy habits and hygiene, to develop attitudes of respect and collaboration and study skills and to boost motivation and aspirational mechanisms.
The DSS programme is based on 4 pillars throughout the academic year:
- Weekly classes on Values and Healthy Habits seeking to promote healthy and civic behaviours.
- Weekly tutoring for students to improve academic performance, especially working on their language understanding as many of them are immigrants.
- Athletic training twice a week with professional coaches in soccer and futsal, which also plays a role in the transmission of values: discipline, respect for teammates and opponents, etc.
- Local championships for DSS teams, which are a way of learning and putting in practice the values learnt. The main objective is not only the score but also to promote team values and integration.
Additional activities include a visit of the ‘DSS godfather’ who is a retired elite athlete, attendance of a Summer Soccer Camp and the opportunity to play in the Danone Nations Cup for those students with the best behavior, as well as a party for the children and their families at the end of the year.
The programme was awarded the NAOS Strategy Award by the Spanish Ministry of Health.
The number of kids participating in the DSS has increased from 984 in 2014/2015 to 991 in 2015/2016. Qualitative and quantitative measurements showed positive behavioural change. Children who took part in the programme developed healthier lifestyle habits and reported increased physical activity levels.