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Learning through sport: A powerful tool to reach out to youth


Learning through sport: A powerful tool to reach out to youth

More than 300 girls and boys took part in the first few Kadam Badhate Chalo sports camps, where sport was used to facilitate their learning about teamwork, leadership, communication and gender equality.

Pro Sport Development (PSD), in partnership with the Society for Participatory Research in Asia (PRIA) and the Martha Farrell Foundation (MFF), conducted three day sports camps at four different locations in January and February, as part of phase one of the Kadam Badhate Chalo (KBC) campaign.

These initial camps saw the active participation of 308 youth between the ages of 14-25, with girls making up 43% of the participants. The camps utilised the power of sport to reach out to these youth and facilitate their learning of important life skills such as leadership, communication and teamwork, as well as challenge some of the everyday gender biases facing Indian society today.

In general, the camps were the first chance ever for many of the female participants to be involved in sporting and physical activity. Moreover, it was the first time that most of the girls and boys participated in sport together. This itself helped break many gender stereotypes and biases, which prevent girls from going outside their homes to play and stop both genders from undertaking sporting activities together.

The beginning of the camps saw the girls more reserved and quiet than the boys, but as they got involved in the activities, they shed their inhibitions and grew in confidence and volume. Also, the boys were supportive of the girls, and helped in making them feel comfortable being part of the activities.

The youth also took away important lessons from these camps, which they discussed with us during focused Q&A sessions. They realised that unity is an important part of a team, especially to achieve their goals. Moreover, they came to the conclusion that everyone in a team needs to contribute to achieve success, and that trust within a team is the glue that holds it together.

The youth learnt the importance of communicating with each other, understanding that if used effectively, communication can simplify tasks and can also be used to motivate others. For many of the youth, it was the first time leading teams and being captains, which empowered them, but also made them realise the important role of a leader to motivate groups, delegate responsibilities effectively and lead them towards certain goals.

The youth further related these learnings to their everyday lives, the most important one being the use of these skills to help raise awareness within their communities, and make their voices heard by the individuals and institutions that matter.

[This article has been edited by the Operating Team]


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Suheil Tandon


Tuesday, February 9, 2016 - 23:00