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The future of sport and development: Using sport to tackle mental health problems and trauma

Girls playing rugby in a huddle
Copyrights: BigStock/Edgework (Photo)

The future of sport and development: Using sport to tackle mental health problems and trauma

We have identified ten themes that authors emphasised in our recent call for articles on the future of sport and development.

 This is sport’s moment to heal. Never in its history have we seen a time when sport is more needed.

– Lou Bergholz, Edgework Consulting

As the coronavirus pandemic has profoundly affected sport, including professional leagues and competitions, many have begun to question the role of sport in society. Should we be seeking to go back to business as usual? or is it time for sport to change? What needs to be done?

sportanddev recently published a call for articles on the future of sport and development, receiving a record 55 responses from writers across the world and from a range of backgrounds and sectors. We have analysed the published articles and identified 10 key and interlinked themes. The theme for this article is the need to build a more equitable and inclusive sport for development and sport sector.

sportanddev also hosted a webinar on the future of sport and development on 23 June, International Olympic Day with over 300 attendees! Click here to watch the recording.

Using sport to tackle mental health problems and trauma

With so much attention on physical health and economic recovery, there is a risk that the COVID-19 response will not focus enough attention on mental health. The crisis is exacerbating mental health problems, especially among vulnerable groups. International development actors often underestimate the importance of psychosocial support programmes, and they can be hesitant to support such work as they view its impact as difficult to measure.

But sport can play a critical role in healing, using trauma-informed approaches to promote mental health and recovery. The therapeutic benefits of sport will be especially important.

And the current crisis does not necessarily make sport and play activities impossible. Some approaches and games can be used without breaking physical distancing guidelines, which means it is still possible to run psychosocial support programmes.

What are the other topics writers emphasised? Find out more.

 

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Wednesday, July 1, 2020 - 13:53