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The power of sports for development

Copyrights: Amani Awartani

The power of sports for development

Tamara Awartani discusses how sport can act as a crucial community development tool in Palestine.

Palestine is a country under occupation for 50 years, its people living under oppression and in different challenging environments. Therefore sports for many is a way out, a breather, a peaceful bubble. As such, sport and development is a very special and needed tool in Palestine and I see it evolving in my country.

I have been in the field for years being an ex-athlete and coach. Moreover, through Palestine: Sports for Life (PS4L), an NGO I co-founded and managed with the focus on sports for development, we reach out and empower youth and women through sports focusing on different issues related to the needs of the area we work in—economic and infrastructure development, gender issues, human rights and discussions, youth and women capacity building, encouraging healthy lifestyles and promoting vocational education. It has proved to be successful in the many projects which we implemented and we believe that building on them will grow the sector by having more players in the field where, for example, youth and women can reflect and spread their experiences to others. Sport and development will be an important sector that will gain popularity for the attractiveness of sport and the benefits it brings to the community.

We believe that through sport and development the effect and impact on youth, women and societies in general is big; it will trigger governments to adopt it in its youth policies or strategies, to take it into consideration as a crucial tool to develop the community on different levels as well as developing the curriculums at the grassroots level to adopt the methodology of sport and development.

We therefore hope that sport and development becomes a crucial tool in community development, focusing on different aspects implemented on a country level and part of a policy/strategy.

Through my PhD in the German Sports University, I’m researching how to fight youth unemployment in Palestine through sport for development. Therefore, the topic of education and economic development through sport and development would be something that I would like to see adopted on a governmental level in the next eight years. Especially in a country like Palestine, sport is a powerful tool for development.

[This article has been edited by the Operating Team.]

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Tuesday, September 26, 2017 - 13:09