Skip to main content

How Sport for Development and Peace Works (Pt. IV)

Part IV of our series on how sport for development and peace works/


In many societies sports clubs are used as central points for the community. Not only can they be the site of actual sporting activity, which in itself brings the community together, the location is often seen as a proxy space for both formal and informal community gatherings.

Sport, therefore, can act as a kind of motivator, a centripetal force for disconnected communities, which brings individuals together to share a common, fun, interest.

This may engender a sense of motivation or even pride among disadvantaged communities.

In practice, this means that sports clubs can be readily utilised to act as spaces for both curriculum and community education (such as physical and mental health care) or as meeting spaces for competing groups.

The actual practice of sport can act to lighten moods and expend energy which might otherwise be used to fight or to foment disputes. The shared nature of sports like football can act to link individual and the groups they populate and to smooth the way for a breaking down barriers and perceived differences.

In situations of conflict, sport can be seen as a central space where factions can co-mingle, and even compete, in a shared space and under agreed rules. Sport can provide a reason for meetings and gatherings and can be the basis for beginning peace talks or reconciliation processes.

In certain cases, disadvantaged groups can find some sense of purpose and direction in sport, as well as much needed dignity and pride in their communities and in themselves. For refugees or for those who for ethnically-based, gender-based or due to other prejudices are somehow marginalised, sport can act as a sub-conscious leveller, an educator and a socialiser.

In individual cases, sport can provide a means of expression and a proxy vehicle for which confidence and self-belief can be discovered and enhanced, thus bolstering a healthy education and social development process.


Popular posts from this blog

In these times, find the joy of being human

The election of Donald J Trump as America's 45th President, confirmed in this week's inauguration, presents numerous challenges to human rights and people power.

The boorish, misogynistic, arrogant tenor of his campaign has cast a pall over the rights of minorities in America and across the globe as his "America First" call, by definition, puts everyone else second or worse. The only equality in the scenario he presents is of the George Orwell type: that of some being more equal than others.

Such a situation already exists of course. Western males wield more direct and indirect power in global terms than, say, a dark-skinned girl in a slum. Trump is hardly breaking new ground. But, his ascendancy gives that dark reality more momentum. It puts it closer to the centre of normal. His message threatens to break the positive values that link human beings to each other.

Globally, governments, civil society and civilians need to make a stand.

We need to step up to demand f…

Rohingya Football Club Program Details

The Kick Project board has now reached agreement with the Rohingya Football Club, Kuala Lumpur, to proceed with the following program. 

We are now formally raising funds for the following program, which we aim to begin in January 2016.

Phase One:

Part 1
Aim 1: Provide full playing kit for the current Rohingya Football Club (RFC) squad. This includes: shirts, shorts, socks, shin-pads, boots, goalkeeper equipment
Aim 2: Fund a single playing space for football games. This includes paying fees on a designated municipal football field.
Aim 3: Fund Transport. This includes purchasing or leasing a minivan.
Part 2
Aim 1: To establish a “Ball Library”. This will be set up as a focal point for the RFC and also for the Rohingya community, with special focus on encouraging access for Rohingya children. Appropriate education initiatives (approved by both RFC representatives and The Kick Project via the Program Management Committee) may be conducted and/or promoted in the Ball Library premises;
Aim 2: T…

Playing for Positives: How Pro Sport and Good Causes Can Work Together

Interesting read from The New Yorker on the authority and power invested in professional athletes, in relation to influencing the progress of social justice.

The focus here is on American sports, but the theme can be easily extended to other sports, worldwide.

It's perhaps no surprise perhaps that the rise of pro sports as a massive industry in its own right, with the parallel gains for individuals in money and celebrity terms, that more athletes don't speak out about important issues. There's clearly a lot at stake, and a lot to lose for those who step off the tightly managed corporate line running through most large sports organisations and clubs.

But, the fact that a large percentage of today's professional athletes come from simple backgrounds, if not from situations of outright poverty and/or abuse, begs the question of why don't more speak up about the circumstances that they escaped from and in which some of their peers in youth remain ensconced?

The Kick P…