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Youth Leadership Programme empowers 30 youth in SDP


Youth Leadership Programme empowers 30 youth in SDP

Sai Krishna Pulluru, Pro Sport Development's project manager at Anantapur, India, shares his experience of participating in the UNOSDP-Youth Leadership Programme 2016 in Japan.

Together with 29 ambitious youth leaders from nine different countries in Asia I participated in a Youth Leadership Programme (YLP) conducted by the United Nations Office of Sport for Development and Peace (UNOSDP) in partnership with “Sport For Tomorrow”, a programme led by Japan Sports Agency from 2-12 March, 2016 in Tohoku, Japan.

YLP is an UNOSDP initiative to support youth working in sport for development and peace (SDP) projects by giving them access to theoretical and practical training needed to improve both their projects and their own professional progress, and by supporting them once they go back to their communities.

We witnessed workshops from several noted international and national sport federations including Badminton World Federation (BWF), International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF), Japan Blind Football Association, English Football Association and Japan Sport Agency covering topics including sport for development, Paralympic movement, the role of sport in supporting disaster victims and the value of sport and leadership.

BWF and ITTF introduced us to their development programmes “Shuttle Time” and “Breaking Down Barriers with Table Tennis Balls” respectively. These workshops have equipped us with skills to utilise the minimal resources available in our communities and yet offer the benefits of sport to children effectively.

Besides, it was really helpful to be informed about available online resources for community coaches, which can be utilised for the development of programmes in our home nations. We also got to learn important aspects of leadership, values and role models with the help of an engaging session from the “English FA – Football Futures” team of trainers.

YLP participants during a Kodokan Judo session

Youth Sport Trust (YST) and its facilitators presented us the best practices in the field of SDP around the world and also had ensured we develop leadership and organisational skills over the course of the camp. Their reflection and review sessions, combined with the sessions with Japan Blind Football Association and the wheelchair skills training programme, helped me to understand the concept of adaptive sports for children and youth with physical and intellectual impairments.

During our stay, we also visited Onagawa, a region badly hit during the 2011 Tsunami and we interacted with the local residents affected by the unfortunate incident. It is truly inspirational how the local residents worked selflessly with the support of recovery teams and local sports teams during and after the disaster to rebuild their region.

The YLP was a great platform to meet people from different countries and exchange ideas relating to SDP. I also enjoyed interacting with former and current Japanese Olympic and Paralympic medal winners, learning from their motivations and their work in SDP. Spending time with these ambitious youth and the facilitators has offered me ample opportunities to view SDP from a different lens and also to improve on several aspects not limited to personal development.

[This article has been edited by the Operating Team]


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Sai Krishna Pulluru


Tuesday, March 22, 2016 - 23:00