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Laureus Summit interview series: Slum Soccer, India

Copyrights: Laureus Sport for Good Foundation

Laureus Summit interview series: Slum Soccer, India

Abhijeet Barse, CEO of Slum Soccer, highlights the crossover happening between fields, and how this can lead to new ideas in sport for development.

sportanddev.org recently attended the Laureus Summit in Paris, where more than 130 organisations from all corners of the globe – all funded by the Laureus Sport for Good Foundation - gathered to share best practice and discuss the future of sport for development. We spoke to five projects about what they do, and what they gained from the Summit.

sportanddev.org: Tell us about your project.

Abhijeet: Slum Soccer has operated in India for the past 18 years and works primarily with children and young people coming from slums. We used a football-based methodology and are working with close to 16,000 children each year. We focus on various issues such as child rights, education and women’s empowerment, all through the medium of football. We try to work with schools and communities as closely as possible.

What is the benefit of attending the Summit?

Most of the time we operate in silos, and even if there are a handful of organisations we still have a one-sided dialogue. Coming to events like this ensures that we hear from organisations who are not from our sport, for example, and get new ideas – especially listening to someone who may be struggling with something similar to you, but is not from your field. That crossover happens here.

What would you like to see happen in the sport for development sector over the next five years?

I think there is a lack of research when it comes to sport and development. It’s not for the lack of trying, but maybe we need to find a direction as a sector to emphasise the good we are doing. There is a direct link on how sport is affecting development but it is mostly anecdotal evidence – there’s never been a systematic study. I know there is one journal that does some of this, but there should be more, and from other sectors. Secondly, I would like to see the connection between sport and development cross over more to sport; we definitely need some good news emerging from the sector. It’s high time that some of these good news stories were highlighted. Football has woken up to it with the ‘Common Goal’ platform. It’s not just about raising funds, they are also talking about it a lot and raising awareness. We should do that more, and they have set a good example.

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Article type

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Author

Simon Lansley

Published

Wednesday, November 7, 2018 - 10:34

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