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Using sport to start a conversation on gender

Copyrights: Pro Sport Development

Using sport to start a conversation on gender

A residential workshop, organized by Pro Sport Development and Girls Not Brides, introduced grassroots youth workers to sports-based methodologies in combating gender issues.

Pro Sport Development and Girls Not Brides: The Global Partnership to End Child Marriage came together to conduct a three-day residential workshop, Khel Ek Seekh (Learning through Sport) in Jaipur, Rajasthan, India. The workshop, which took place from 25 to 27 February, focused on using sport as a tool to initiate dialogues on gender. It was conducted with youth workers from remote areas of the western state of Rajasthan, and their enthusiastic participation marked the success of the workshop. 

Day 1: Familiarizing participants

The workshop started on a vibrant note with ice-breaker activities which made the participants comfortable in the workshop setting. This was followed by a panel discussion which highlighted the diverse experiences of local organizations in using sports-based approaches to address gender-based stereotypes and norms. The panel consisted of representatives from Mahila Jan Adhikar Samiti, Vikalp Sansthan and Rajasmand Jan Vikas Sansthan, all of which have used sports-based approaches to address various gender issues in different parts of Rajasthan. 

The workshop aimed to train and equip the youth workers to use sport to tackle gender issues in their respective communities. The first day had multiple interactive sessions to familiarize participants with sports-based activities, expectations and roles of an ideal coach, session planning and game delivery protocol. Along with this, many different sports-based activities were organized to make their learning experience more practical and experiential, and to help youth workers build their communication and teamwork skills. 

A handbook with fun games on the themes of teamwork, leadership, communication and gender sensitivity was also provided to the participants, in order to assist them in delivering sports-based activities in their respective settings. 

Day 2: Sharing experiences

The second day of the workshop kicked off with a quick recap of the first day, and participants shared their learnings and future plans of integrating these learnings into their programs. The first session threw light on the significance of efficient communication in facilitation and training through various participatory activities. Following this, some more sports-based activities were conducted to introduce them to games that promote leadership.  

The next session was on gender, and participants were encouraged to share their understanding of gender, given their experiences of working on this theme. As the participants had primarily worked in the conservative cultural setting of Rajasthan, it was interesting to note that their understanding of gender went beyond the binary lens. After an intriguing discussion on diverse gender identities and sexualties, fun activities on gender were facilitated to make the youth workers aware of different ways to facilitate conversations on gender, which can be a challenging task in conservative settings. 

For the rest of the day,  participants were asked to prepare plans to incorporate sports-based activities in their programs, with the facilitation team available to provide support and assistance. 

Day 3: Presenting learnings

The third and final day of the workshop consisted of  presentations and delivery of the sports-based activities assigned to them on the previous day. All participants enthusiastically presented their activities as well as their plan to integrate sports into the programs led by their organizations. The facilitation team provided detailed constructive feedback to all participants. The creativity and innovation of the participants was evident in their presentations, indicating the workshop’s effectiveness.  

The workshop ended with participants sharing their excitement about using sport as a tool to strengthen their work. Khel Ek Seekh was successful in engaging with the youth workers in Rajasthan in a  participatory, interactive and high-spirited manner. We cannot wait to work with youth workers of Jharkhand and Uttar Pradesh in upcoming workshops.

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Thursday, March 17, 2022 - 14:03

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