The importance of networking and communications: sportanddev at EMPOWER 2014
On the second day of EMPOWER 2014 in Doha, Qatar, Jutta Engelhardt and Paul Hunt led a workshop, sharing advice from sportanddev’s 10 years of running an online communications platform and networking hub in sport and development.
sportanddev.org has long played a central role in the sport and development community, being used, among other things, as a tool for networking, searching for career opportunities and learning about the use of sport in development. Participants at EMPOWER 2014 were mostly Qataris aged 16-26 and many were new to the concept of sport and development. The workshop, therefore, provided an ideal opportunity for the sportanddev team to highlight their website as an invaluable resource for those inspired to find out more or pursue a career in the sector.
Jutta and Paul shared their own professional backgrounds and experiences of working in sport and development, encouraging participants to take opportunities even if it means gaining transferable skills in areas outside their target sector.
sportanddev then gave some practical advice on basic online communications such as getting your message across concisely and spending a lot of time on the most important parts of the article – the title and lead – to ensure your topic is clear and the reader has a good enough reason to read the content. Participants had the opportunity to put these tips into action, invited in groups to write their own short articles on subjects of their choice relating to sport and development. They engaged enthusiastically with the task, writing on subjects including sport and health and the 2022 Qatar World Cup, before presenting their articles.
The growth of the sport and development sector has accelerated in the last 10 years, which means the number of job and academic opportunities is increasing. Communications and networking play important roles in the professional development of individuals and advancing the goals of organisations in the sport and development sector and elsewhere, so participants were able to take some very practical tips away from the session.
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