Skip to main content

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

Final in our five-part series on how sport for development and peace works.


The regenerative power of having fun, particularly for younger members of a community, should not be underestimated. In situations where children are forced to witness the cruelest, most unjust, violent or depraved manifestations of human behaviour many experience alarmingly, if understandable, high levels of stress and mental health disorders.

Being able to release the tension and to revert to being children again may be all a given child needs to begin to find his/her way back to a normal life.

Moreover, introducing children and youths to the fun aspects of life, such a sport, in a well-structured context, can head-off generational attachments to dispute and possibly war. Children who are exposed to children from groups and communities with whom their parents may be, or have been, or may yet be, at war can lift the level of relationships to a more productive place, where talking and negotiation - and perhaps mutual play through sports - is the norm.

While the "fun focal point" may be children and youth, parents and older members of the community can also gain from the fun factor of sport.

Any parent will attest to the joy of seeing one's offspring laughing, playing and generally having fun. It's as relaxing as it is life-affirming. The struggle to survive is often conducted in the name of one's children and the sense of making a terrible situation better for one's family is common for those in the direst need. Those in situations of conflict, poverty, disaster or disadvantage, therefore, can use the of elixir of sport more than anyone, arguably as much as the younger community members can.

Finally, fun is what we might term a "healthy drug." Fun is infectious and it spreads like a happy virus wherever it emerges. In situations where the basics of life are provided - for instance basic food, shelter and security - the element of fun can be the difference between staying alive and actually living.


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…