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sportandev speaks to ‘Communities and Crisis' seminar participants

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sportandev speaks to ‘Communities and Crisis' seminar participants

Currently underway in Rheinsberg, Germany, ICSSPE's 'Communities and Crisis' seminar aims to provide participants with tools to deliver psycho-social sport and physical activity programmes in social problem and crisis areas. We speak with two of the participants David Hallendorf and Michael Lockyer...

Could you very briefly introduce yourselves, and inform our readers about your work in the field of sport and development?

DH: My name is David Hallendorff, I am 21 years old and studying my degree in Human Movement Sciences at the University of Pretoria. Next year I will be doing my honours in Recreation and Facility management.

ML: I am Michael Lockyer, a South African currently studying the Erasmus Mundus Masters in Adapted Physical Activity (EMMAPA) program. My experience and work in the field of sport and development is relatively limited.

I have, however, helped at various sports days for disadvantaged persons in Stellenbosch during my undergraduate studies. I have also attended a summer camp aimed at promoting disability sport for American teenagers in Georgia.

Could you let us know what you expect from this event?

DH: I expect it to be an eye opener as well as a great thing to participate in to broaden my knowledge in developing programs for underprivlleged communities and those that are in disaster areas, in addtion to learning the key skills to build communities socially through sport.

ML: For me, the venue is also of big interest as it is fully adapted for persons using wheelchairs and as well as those with other physical impairments. By the sounds of things there are also many young participants which is encouraging. I am expecting a lot of enthusiasm and spirit as a result.

The fact that those attending are of various nationalities is very promising as it provides diversity in opinions, perspectives and also different means and applications to use during post-disaster situations. 

The seminar “Communities and Crisis – Inclusive Development through sport”, will discuss ways through which adapted sports programmes can provide psycho-social support in crisis areas. One might think there are more basic needs to be provided in such circumstances (shelter, food, medicine, basic assistance). In your opinion, what kind of role can sport play in such extreme settings?

ML: Of course food, shelter and medical care are of the highest priority in post-disaster situations. Sport, however is, one of the best mediators and unifiers in the world. Unity is of great importance following a natural or man-made crisis. 

Not only can sport play a big role in community unity, but it can also help psychologically in keeping individuals distracted, partially anyway, from the situation at hand.

DH: Sport can be used as a universal tool to bind areas or communities that have been in disaster or in extreme settings. Sport can help to start to make the affected community to look at the people within their community as people they can depend on and trust. 

Therefore the lessons learned from the Communities and Crisis inclusive development through sport seminar plays a very important role in getting those affected communities back onto their “feet”.

And what kind of precautions would you consider when rolling out sports programmes in crisis areas?

DH: The precautions that you must consider when rolling out these programs in affected communities include:
  • Danger/hazardous environments
  • Playing area for the responders as well as the community
  • Their needs as a community, so that you don’t oppose their beliefs and customs
  • Gaining permission and trust from the community

ML: Funding of such programs should be done carefully so as to avoid association of such programs with receiving monetary or other compensation. Participants should become involved voluntarily so as to avoid the participants becoming dependent on the program or participating for the wrong reasons.
 

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Article type

News

Author

Daniel Idowu

Published

Tuesday, November 22, 2011 - 23:00

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