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A farewell to Usha as sportanddev approaches its 10th anniversary


A farewell to Usha as sportanddev approaches its 10th anniversary

sportanddev says goodbye to Usha Selvaraju, our project manager, who leaves the Operating Team after almost 7 years. Here we take a look at the history of the Platform, and Usha's contribution towards its growth.

As part of the defining era of sportanddev, the outoing project manager, Usha Selvaraju, played an integral part in shaping its growth and success. We are sad to see her leave and will do our best to fill the gap.

After almost seven years, Usha Selvaraju has left the Operating Team. Let me outline to you how has changed over the past nine years and how significant Usha’s contribution was in making it a key resource for the field of sport for development and peace.

The International Platform on Sport and Development was created as a result of the sport and development community’s explicit wish to establish a Platform of exchange.

In 2003, a number of individuals representing today’s oldest sport and development organisations and key players in the field attended the Magglingen conference. During the conference delegates realised that they were not alone in doing their own little thing in their own little corner of the world, but that there were others using the same tool, adhering to the same logic, and sharing the same belief as they held.

The tool was sport and play, the logic the initiation of social change and the belief was that sport and play, if properly applied, was a fantastic and all encompassing tool to make this happen.

A strong sense of belonging to a newly emerging field of development work inspired the delegates to claim their Platform on which information on existing activities could be stored.

Over the years and with the ceaseless engagement of the Operating Team of which Usha was an essential part, the Platform grew from a data base to a communication tool, and from a project to an initiative.

Today, thousands of like-minded people that work in sport and development come to to share their ideas, report on success and challenges in the field, and network with their fellow specialists on a global scale.

A very potent and active Steering Board is supporting the initiative through providing not only financial contributions, but also strategic guidance. The Steering Board uses to outline policies, but at the same time also to listen to what the community wants, does and accomplishes.

Usha’s job over the years was to conceptualise, develop and build the site anticipating the needs of the community. It was also to fill the site with exciting content. She wrote and edited, she researched and networked, she provided services to newcomers as well as to those that have been part of the community for almost a decade. All this she did with incredible consistency, fun and charm, dedication and a most convincing belief in the tool of sport for development.

Many of you have reacted by saying: “it will be hard to replace her.” You are right! Yet we will do our best with the new members of the Operating Team, Stephen and Alister.

So please join me in welcoming them aboard the Operating Team as we head into an exciting year for celebrating its 10th anniversary with all of you in 2013.


Jutta Engelhardt

Jutta is the Executive Secretary to the Steering Board, having joined the sportanddev Operating Team in April 2008. Specialising in development policy using innovative methodology, she believes that sport (if used, monitored and evaluated appropriately) is an excellent tool that can facilitate empowerment, enhance social understanding, and further education. Jutta focuses on M & E of innovative projects in the field of sport & health, sport & education and sport & social inclusion.




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Jutta Engelhardt


Tuesday, December 18, 2012 - 23:00